People & Inspiration

In Focus: Poverty Shouldn't Be A Hindrance To Your Aviation Dreams, Says This Pilot

In Focus: Poverty Shouldn't Be A Hindrance To Your Aviation Dreams, Says This Pilot

For over two decades, Cebu Pacific (CEB) has flown folds of Filipinos to various destinations in and out of the country. With its seat sales and year-round low fares, Cebu Pacific has changed travel habits and preferences of Filipinos by making air travel available, accessible, and affordable for more people from all walks of life. 
But more than just allowing everyJuan to fulfill their travel goals, the Philippines’ leading carrier is also making aspiring aviators' dreams of flying come true.

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The impossible dream

Captain Pol Salvador, one of the airline’s longest serving pilots, thought he would never even obtain a college degree, much less get to flying school. Living in a military airbase when he was a child, Captain Salvador grew fascinated with planes and fighter jets. “Seeing fighter jets made me feel elated. I was thinking that I would like to be in that plane someday,” he recalls.  
Growing up, Captain Salvador took on multiple jobs to support himself through school.  “I realized if I study hard, it could help me achieve my goal. When I entered high school, I concentrated on subjects that would contribute in preparing me to become a pilot. I told myself that if I kept on pushing myself then someone would recognize that," he muses.
His hard work eventually paid off. Right after graduating high school, Captain Salvador passed the rigorous entrance exam to enter the Philippine Military Academy. He then joined the ranks of the Philippine Air Force as a Second Lieutenant.


Then-cadet Pol Salvador at the Philippine Military Academy

Over time, Captain Salvador retired from military service, trading-in his flying suit for a commercial pilot’s uniform.


As a Lieutenant in the Philippine Air Force flying one of the military’s aircraft 

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EveryJuan can try to fly 
Captain Salvador has been flying with Cebu Pacific for a solid decade, working his way up to becoming a management pilot and now, Vice President for Flight Operations for Cebgo. The latter is the inter-island subsidiary of Cebu Pacific. 


Early days as a commercial pilot with Cebu Pacific

As Cebu Pacific continues to expand, there will be an increase in demand for qualified pilots. However, the demand for certified and qualified aviators is on the rise globally.

To support its need for more pilots, Cebu Pacific has launched a Cadet Pilot program,  allowing anyJuan with dreams of flight to take command of an aircraft one day. The program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for aspiring pilots to train at Flight Training Adelaide in Australia, one of the best flying schools in the world. It also guarantees employment with Cebu Pacific upon graduation. CEB plans to recruit a total of 480 Cadet Pilots until year 2022. 
While flying school and earning certifications and licenses to become a commercial pilot can run into the millions of pesos, the Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilot program employs a study-now-pay-later scheme. Cebu Pacific will shoulder all expenses related to flying school and certifications first, then the cadet-pilots can amortize payment for the education via monthly salary deduction for a maximum of ten years.  
The first batch of Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilots left for FTA in Adelaide, Australia last April and has started the first phase of flying school. A second batch of cadets is in the final screening process, with deployment to FTA scheduled by mid-2018.


First batch of Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilots at the Flight Training Adelaide campus in Australia

“There are so many ways to achieve your goals. For me, I turned negative things into positive things. Just go for your dreams, no matter what. Keep moving forward,” Captain Salvador can only say to aspiring pilots.  
Applications to be part of the third batch of Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilots will open on May 16, 2018, until May 22, 2018. For more information, visit, the Cebu Pacific corporate website,, or official Facebook page 
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