AirlinePress Release

The Sky’s the Limit: Launching the Mangōpare Air New Zealand Pilot Cadetship

  • New accelerated pathway to becoming a pilot for Air New Zealand
  • 30 Kiwis to be selected for cadetship and will commence training from September 2024
  • Expression of Interest launched to identify New Zealand-based flight training organisations that can deliver the cadetship long-term in Aotearoa

Mangōpare Air New Zealand Pilot Cadetship

The sky’s the limit for aspiring Kiwi aviators with the launch of Air New Zealand’s first-ever Mangōpare Pilot Cadetship. Designed to inspire more individuals to pursue a career as a pilot by reducing financial barriers, this cadetship complements existing pilot pathways, ensuring we can continue to meet future demand and avoid possible pilot shortages.

Launching today and open for applications, the Mangōpare Air New Zealand Pilot Cadetship is an all-inclusive training programme that accelerates the journey to becoming a commercial pilot from the typical 24-36 months to approximately 14 months. 

With an initial commitment of 30 pilots, successfully selected cadets will commence training in small cohorts from September 2024, with the majority of costs, including training and living expenses, funded by Air New Zealand.

To quickly establish the cadetship, cadets will initially train overseas using existing capacity while Air New Zealand conducts a procurement process to identify a long-term domestic training provider.

Cadets will be predominantly based in Arizona, where they will learn to fly single and multi-engine planes. They will then travel to Dubai to complete simulator sessions, becoming type-rated to fly ATR72-600 aircraft. Once qualified, successful cadets will have a pathway to employment as an Air New Zealand pilot.

Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Safety Officer Captain David Morgan says looking at both short and longer-term solutions to training pilots is crucial to ensure the airline can meet future travel demand.

“That’s why Air New Zealand is taking this proactive step to fund the majority of the training costs for 30 cadets. The programme not only opens the door for individuals from all backgrounds to consider a career as a pilot but also provides an expedited training pathway.

“We also know airlines around the world are already having to ground aircraft and cancel flights due to a lack of pilots. While these shortages have yet to impact Air New Zealand, we could see this change quickly if we aren’t proactive now”.

“In New Zealand, air travel is crucial in connecting Kiwis with each other and the world, as well as transporting high-value goods that contribute to our economy. We play an important role in ensuring we have the pilots needed to keep our aircraft flying.”

Applications for the Mangōpare Air New Zealand Pilot Cadetship are open now until 8 July. Full details, including the eligibility criteria, can be found on our website.

Expression of Interest for Mangōpare Air New Zealand Pilot Cadetship Training Provider

Air New Zealand is also launching an Expression of Interest (EOI) to find a training organisation in New Zealand to deliver a fully integrated airline pilot training cadetship, fully aligned with Air New Zealand turboprop aircraft operations.

Captain Morgan explains that the aviation industry in New Zealand currently operates a traditional pilot training system where, pilots are recruited once they have gained the requisite after graduating from flight training providers and then become type-rated before a four-month period of training with Air New Zealand. While it has served the industry well, adaptation is now needed to ensure that New Zealand has the supply of high-quality pilots it needs for a successful airline industry in the future.

“The future success of the Mangōpare Air New Zealand Pilot Cadetship will rely on the pilot training sector working together in a way that it hasn’t done before to build and deliver a cadetship that means more pilots can be trained, faster, and ensure that we can meet the travel and export demands of Kiwis in the future. 

“We want to work with training organisations that can provide a programme that helps cadets develop the technical skills and knowledge they need to join the airline as future leaders, ready to fly our turboprop aircraft.”

Through the EOI process, Air New Zealand aims to find a training provider that can deliver a fully immersive experience for cadets, fast-tracking their pilot training. This cadetship is designed to supplement the existing pilot recruitment programme and Air New Zealand will also continue to recruit pilots who come through traditional pathways.


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