From the CEO
Nearly 100 years ago, Qantas was born in Winton, a small town in Central West Queensland. While we have grown into a global airline with over 50 partner airlines flying to more than 1200 destinations, regional Australia remains at the core of our identity. We’re a big part of the communities that we serve – providing jobs, supporting tourism and buying goods and services. Next year, we’ll open our new Qantas Group Pilot Academy in regional Australia and we’ve recently announced plans to open a second facility in 2020. Across both sites, the Academy will be able to train up to 500 new pilots each year. We think it has the potential to become a hub for aviation excellence in the Asia-Pacific. We’re also upgrading our turboprop fleet, offering greater comfort to our regional customers who fly on one of Qantas’s 45 Bombardier aircraft.
Tragically, much of rural NSW, Queensland and Victoria is facing extreme drought, with some areas experiencing the driest conditions since record keeping began in the early 1900s. While we can’t break the drought for these communities, we can lend a hand. So we’re partnering with Rural Aid for a $3 million initiative called Qantas Drought Relief. The project will raise funds to bring in truckloads of hay, provide grocery vouchers for farming families and help fund counsellors to support rural communities. Qantas has already donated $1 million to Rural Aid and we’re working with our customers to raise another $1 million, which we will then match. This month, we’ll host two special fundraising flights; one to the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach, Queensland, and a second to Tamworth, NSW, for the Hay Mate, Buy a Bale concert. Proceeds from these flights will be donated to Rural Aid. We’ll also fly skilled Qantas employees and volunteer tradespeople to drought-affected regions to fix homes, repair tractors and build fences.
We’re in good company with these efforts. Many individuals and numerous Australian businesses are digging deep to support the farmers. As our customers, we ask you to join in. Whether you’re taking one of our fundraising flights, throwing your loose change in our cash donation boxes at airports and lounges, using your Qantas Points to buy hay bales or donating cash to support Rural Aid via qantas.com/ droughtrelief, we thank you for your generous support.