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Qantas 787-9

A Qantas Boeing 787-9 departing LAX (Photo: AirlineGeeks | James Dinsdale).

Qantas Unveils Locations For New Crew Training Facilities

The COVID-19 catastrophe has forced airlines to reevaluate and make changes to current route networks, fleets and flight schedules to accommodate fluctuating travel demand. The ongoing dilemma also led airlines to furlough thousands of crew members worldwide.

Even still, Qantas Airlines — an airline that has fared better than carriers on most other continents — last week announced future locations for the company’s new flight simulators. The Australian flag carrier plans to train its pilots in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The airline proposed construction for a new flight training center to be built in Brisbane, and it also plans to expand its existing flight training facility in Melbourne to accommodate more machinery and training equipment. Meanwhile, at its main hub in Sydney, the airline will prepare to relocate and open a new flight training facility. 

“We have to move from our current flight training center in Sydney by the end of the year to make way for a major road work near the airport. As we look to recover from the COVID crisis, this gave us the opportunity to rethink how we manage our whole flight training function and make sure it’s managed as efficiently as possible,” QantasLink CEO John Gissing said in a statement. “By having flight training centers in all three eastern states where the majority of our crew reside, we can reduce costs by millions of dollars a year through training them in their home base.”

Next month, the airline plans to begin constructing the new facility in Brisbane with support from the local government of Queensland. The company expects pilots will commence training at the facility in November 2021. Additionally, Qantas formed a partnership with New South Wales’s local government to complete its plans to have permanently-based training equipment by 2023 at the new training facility in Sydney, the province’s capital.

More Route Map Connectivity

Qantas’s decision to open new crew training facilities while expanding and relocating its existing locations was made to help the carrier adapt to handling its numerous new flight operations across its domestic route network. As strict international travel restrictions and lengthy entry requirements continue for much of its home country, the airline remains focused on its domestic route network, adding more route additions to its flight schedule for the upcoming school holidays in the country — when travel demand is often near its highest point.

The Sydney-based carrier plans to add and operate three new routes starting April 1. Flights from Melbourne and Brisbane to Coffs Habour will operate daily and four times a week on the Boeing 717 and Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft, respectively. The airline will fly from Canberra – Australia’s capital – to Byron Bay twice a week with the Q400 turboprop aircraft.

“With international borders closed, we want to make it even easier for travelers to holiday around Australia,” Gissing said in a separate statement. “These new flights are good news for local businesses, hospitality and tour operators, helping drive tourism and reviving the industry that has been hurting from COVID-19, a philosophy portrayed by the airline’s decision to pump more seats for flights to tourist destinations.”

With the recent announcement of another addition of new routes, Qantas’s crew will be ready to operate the new flights and help the airline capture as much of the remaining travel demand. The airline has decided to also focus on expanding the training experience for its pilots while international demand is low with the goal of bettering its preparation for when long-haul travel demand begins to rebound.

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