From the CEO
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