Qantas to start new flight training business

Sydney, 27 June 2007

Qantas today announced that it would establish a new, stand-alone flight training business by the end of 2007, with the aim of training 3,000 new pilots for the Qantas Group over the next 10 years.

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said he expected the new business would also train a significant number of pilots for other airlines.

"Until now we have managed our pilot training in-house, servicing only Qantas' requirements. With aviation in the Asia Pacific region experiencing strong and rapid growth, we believe the time is right to think more broadly about future pilot training," Mr Dixon said.

"Qantas has the credentials and expertise to develop a centre of pilot training excellence to capitalise on the industry's need for skilled pilots during this growth period and into the future."

Mr Dixon said the facility would be one of the largest pilot training businesses in the world, operating independently of the airline, with its own profit and loss responsibilities.

He said Qantas was investigating a range of joint venture options in both the civilian and military arenas.

"We are in discussion with leading simulator manufacturers, aviation training organisations and financial partners. Our objective is to provide a model for the industry, ensuring the highest standards for training quality and cost efficiency."

Mr Dixon said the business would initially operate from Qantas' existing facilities in Sydney and Melbourne, which had an extensive range of flight simulators.

He said the new business would be managed by Captain David Coates, who currently leads the Qantas Flight Training organisation. Captain Coates would report to Mr Curtis Davies, Executive General Manager Services, effective 1 July 2007.

Mr Dixon said Qantas was also reviewing the structure and scope of its existing pilot cadet program.

"In addition to our traditional sources of pilots, the Group will significantly expand its cadet program. We anticipate offering cadetships to over 100 Australians each year," he said.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3607)