QantasLink has designed a new pilot recruitment programme in collaboration with five Australian universities.

The ‘Qantas Future Pilot Programme’ offers aviation students at the University of New South Wales, Griffith University, the University of Southern Queensland, Swinburne University of Technology and RMIT University the opportunity to be mentored by QantasLink pilots throughout their studies.

If successful throughout the selection process, students will secure to a job at QantasLink. After graduating, they will complete an intensive twelve-week Airline Transition Course and, once employed, become qualified as First Officers.

They will fly the airline’s 74-seat Q400s and 50-seat Q300s and become well-positioned to extend their career with pilot opportunities within the broader Qantas Group of airlines.

The Qantas Future Pilot Programme will launch in January 2018 and is open to current and future aviation students at all stages of their degree. The new programme will complement existing recruitment streams, including as a Direct Entry First Officer or as a Trainee First Officer.

This announcement follows the launch of the Nancy-Bird Walton Initiative, which will see the Qantas Group commit to a 20% intake of women in its 2018 pilot recruitment programmes and aim to double that number over the next decade.

QantasLink has recruited over 100 pilots in the last twelve months. Qantas has recruited 200 in the last twelve months, and is forecasting this number will reach 300 by mid-2018.