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Qantas commits to second pilot academy site
Qantas Airbus A330. © Qantas

Qantas commits to second pilot academy site

The Qantas Group has confirmed it will open its Pilot Academy across two locations in regional Australia to meet anticipated demand.

The Qantas Group has confirmed it will open its Pilot Academy across two locations in regional Australia to meet anticipated demand. The total investment in the two sites is $20m.

The Academy, originally announced in February, is part of the Qantas Group’s plans to build a long-term talent pipeline for its airlines and the broader industry to meet the increasing need for skilled aviators. Boeing recently forecasted that 790,000 more pilots will be required globally over the next 20 years, around one-third of them in Asia Pacific.

The first Academy site is expected to be operational during 2019, followed by the second in 2020. Nine regional cities across Australia – Alice Springs, Bendigo, Busselton, Dubbo, Launceston, Mackay, Tamworth, Toowoomba and Wagga Wagga – have been shortlisted. A decision on both sites will be announced in coming weeks.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce says the goal is to train up to 100 pilots in year one, but this is expected to grow to as many as 500 a year, which he says can only be achieved if there is more than one location.

Joyce said that pilots completing their training with the Academy could fly for other airlines, the defence force or services like the Royal Flying Doctors.

Qantas is encouraging more women to consider a career in aviation — the proportion of women in the global aviation workforce currently stands at just 3%. According to Qantas, around 16% of people registering interest in the Academy are female.

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