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Pilot Academy Bid chances rise

By Tammy Laval

MACKAY’S chances to become the next pilot training academy for Qantas increases as Tamworth withdraws after securing Virgin’s training academy.

A major win for regional Queensland, with Toowoomba winning the first training academy for Qantas.

Qantas has confirmed one of the main contenders in the bid to secure the academy, Tamworth, has bowed out of the race after securing a deal to establish a training academy with Virgin Australia.

This leaves a field of just seven contenders including Mackay, Alice Springs, Bendigo, Busselton, Dubbo, Launceston and Wagga Wagga in the mix for the Academy’s second site.

It comes after Toowoomba was recently announced as the first location for the Qantas Group Pilot Academy, due to open in 2019.

In relation to Tamworth’s Virgin deal, Qantas Group Pilot Academy executive manager Wes Nobelius said it was great to see more airlines investing in training new pilots, especially given the global demand projections.

“It’s also great news for Tamworth and regional Australia more broadly,” Mr Nobelius said.

“We’ve already announced our first pilot academy location at Toowoomba and are progressing a second location from a list of seven remaining shortlisted cities.”

Qantas are expected to announce the second pilot training academy location by the end of 2018.

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