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If you have a strong passion for business management and an interest in aviation, there's no better place to start your career than with Cathay Pacific.

We have an unwavering commitment to growing and nurturing business leaders of the future through the Management Trainee Programme, which has been in operation since 1968. It offers an opportunity for you to gain valuable hands-on exposure to airline operations in Hong Kong (and potentially overseas!) as well as close support and mentorship from Cathay Pacific Directors.

Our high-performing Management Trainees are given the chance to fast track their careers to management positions across a broad range of business areas. In fact, many of our current Country Managers and Department Managers joined Cathay Pacific as Management Trainees.

About the Swire Management Trainee Programme

In 2008 Swire introduced a unified and remodelled three-year Management Trainee Programme, which uses a centralised recruitment process to select the best new graduate candidates for various business streams including aviation. Through this programme Trainees are employed by John Swire & Sons (HK) and then seconded to Swire Group companies such Cathay Pacific, where they can develop invaluable skills and experience for an exciting long-term career in the airline industry.

Our aim is to groom leaders with the latest general management skills and aviation thinking to prepare you for becoming an industry leader.

During the first three months, you'll undergo an intensive induction programme covering the principles of management and a general orientation of the airline business. This will include:

  • Classes in finance, airline operations and information management
  • Management workshops in leadership, teamwork and managing change
  • Familiarisation visits to all areas of our Swire Group operations
  • Experience sharing with managers and staff
  • Briefings from senior management on business strategy
  • Computerised airline business simulation model
  • Group projects

You'll also gain invaluable exposure to airline operations and learn about customer relations as you spend eight weeks providing service to our customers at Hong Kong International Airport. All Trainees will receive close mentorship from two Directors, as well as a ‘buddy' who has completed the programme within recent years

Following the induction, you'll embark on a three-year development programme that offers a taste of various facets of our business in and out of Hong Kong, as well as a deeper understanding of our key operations. You'll be assigned to each of the following areas for one year, typically as an Assistant to the General Manager:

  • Line function – e.g. Marketing, Inflight Services, Airline Planning, Revenue Management
  • Support function – e.g. Information Management, Personnel, Financial Services
  • Outport posting – i.e. a posting to an overseas office as the Assistant to the Country Manager or Regional General Manager

After completing the three-year development programme, you will continue to fast track your path towards general management with rotations every 2-3 years within Hong Kong, China or other outports around the world.

The knowledge you gain will be indispensible as you advance to senior positions within the Group, either with Cathay Pacific or Dragonair.

To be considered for a place in the programme, you will need to have:

  • PRC citizenship or the Right to Abode in Hong Kong SAR
  • A recognised university degree in any discipline
  • An excellent command of written and spoken Chinese and English, with a credit or above in either HKCEE English (Grade 4), CET Level 6 or TEM Level 4, or an equivalent standard
  • Not worked in a full-time capacity for more than three years
  • A willingness to be relocated to Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR and other countries for long or short-term assignments

Jenna Yu
Assistant Marketing Manager

As an Intercultural Communications major, one of Jenna’s greatest passions is learning about different cultures. She loves working for an airline that connects people from all over the world, and enables her to interact with people from different cultural backgrounds every day. She especially enjoyed the 12-month rotation as the Assistant to General Manager of South East Asia, as it allowed her to work alongside the local team as well as learn about the South East Asia markets and culture

Jenna’s current rotation is back in headquarter, with the team that oversees Dragonair branding, as well as Cathay Pacific and Dragonair marketing activities in China and Taiwan markets. Having relocated to Hong Kong from Mainland China for the programme, working in Cathay Pacific City’s highly supportive and sociable environment has been important to Jenna. She also enjoys practicing her Cantonese with colleagues and friendsas she continues to learn the language. Jenna has appreciated the help and support she has gained from every Cathay Pacific colleague encountered. They are now a big part of her life and ensure that every day at Cathay Pacific is a happy experience.

"I’m passionate about interacting with people from different backgrounds and cultures, and the Management Trainee Programme of Cathay Pacific has enabled me to do this. Working at Cathay Pacific, I have had the chance to work with colleagues in different countries with various backgrounds. Although we speak a different native language and English with different accents, every Cathay Pacific colleague is friendly and willing to help. It doesn’t matter where you’re based or what country you’re from, you always feel part of one team at Cathay Pacific."


Ricky So
Assistant ManagerInflight Services

Ricky developed an emotional bond with Cathay Pacific and aviation as a young child, when his family moved to Canada and frequently flew Cathay Pacific to and from Hong Kong. Now as a Management Trainee, Ricky has enjoyed being able to explore his passion and curiosity for aviation and gain an in-depth understanding of complex airline operations.

Excited by opportunities to challenge the status quo and make a real difference, Ricky appreciates being able to work on major projects that have a long-term impact. In his first year, Ricky contributed to a proposal for expanding the Asia Miles programme and presented it to Cathay Pacific’s leadership team. He is now enjoying seeing some of his ideas come to life.

One of the highlights for Ricky has been the 12-month posting he undertook as Assistant to General Manager Taiwan & Korea, where he enjoyed the independence of living overseas by himself and working as part of the local Cathay Pacific team. The experience taught Ricky about the importance of developing healthy working relationships, which he describes as key to working effectively and efficiently in the organisation.

In his current role, Ricky focuses on projects to drive efficiency of inflight services as well as to enhance customer recognition through different initiatives. Ricky loves the excitement and responsibility that comes with working on Cathay Pacific’s core business and offering.

"I enjoy working at Cathay Pacific because I really love aviation – planes, airports and the way that airlines operate. I also enjoy the work-life balance; I’m given the flexibility to pursue my passions such as travelling and scuba diving. Cathay Pacific has a strong focus on people and how we work effectively together. I have built lots of healthy working relationships here – we have buddies and mentors, who are always willing to exchange insightful ideas and share their advice. People here genuinely care about each other, and that is what I like the most about the Management Trainee Programme."


Ready to explore your management potential with a world-leading airline?

Click here to apply

Successful applicants will be invited to attend a face-to-face interview and an Assessment Centre.

Click here to learn more about the Swire Management Trainee Programme via the Swire website