From the CEO

Qantas - - Qnews. -

Ninety-two years ago, in May 1926, Qan­tas saw an op­por­tu­nity to train pi­lots as a means of sup­port­ing and de­vel­op­ing Aus­tralia’s early aviation in­dus­try.

Qan­tas’s Bris­bane Fly­ing School at Ea­gle Farm taught dozens of peo­ple from all walks of life to fly in DH60 Moth bi­planes. These pi­o­neer­ing stu­dent avi­a­tors in­cluded Dorothy Reis, the first woman to gain a pi­lot’s li­cence in Queens­land. In 1929, the school be­came part of the Queens­land Aero Club.

In the same spirit, we re­cently an­nounced an ini­tial $20 mil­lion in­vest­ment to cre­ate a Qan­tas Group Pi­lot Academy in re­gional Aus­tralia by 2019.

There’s a huge de­mand for pi­lots around the world. Boeing es­ti­mates that 640,000 new pi­lots are re­quired in the next 20 years, with 40 per cent needed in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

We have had an amaz­ing re­sponse to the academy an­nounce­ment, with nearly 10,000 ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est from as­pir­ing pi­lots in the first three weeks. Many re­gional lo­cal coun­cils put their hands up to host the academy in their town.

The academy will pass on the ex­pe­ri­ence and wis­dom that Qan­tas has gained from al­most 100 years of fly­ing to help equip peo­ple for an ex­cit­ing ca­reer in aviation. We ex­pect the academy to train up to 100 pi­lots per year, which could grow close to 500 trainees an­nu­ally if there is de­mand from other air­lines around the world.

Glob­ally, only about three per cent of airline pi­lots are women. At Qan­tas, it’s five per cent. If the in­dus­try is go­ing to meet the need for new pi­lots, we need to re­cruit from all avail­able tal­ent, not just half the pop­u­la­tion.

In a pos­i­tive sign, about 15 per cent of peo­ple ex­press­ing in­ter­est in the academy are fe­male – and we’re work­ing to en­cour­age more. Across all the chan­nels for pi­lots to join the Qan­tas Group, we want to in­crease our in­take of women to at least 40 per cent over the next decade.

Qan­tas has a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing the home of some of the world’s best pi­lots. Ini­tia­tives like the academy will make sure we keep it that way well into the fu­ture.

Alan Joyce CEO, Qan­tas

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