More than 500 apply for 170 pilot jobs as Qantas begins recruitment drive

More than 500 pilots have ­applied for the 170 pilot positions that Australian flag carrier, Qantas, aims to fill over the next three years as it prepares to introduce the Boeing Dreamliner to its fleet.

The recruitment drive, which was announced in February 2016, is the first time since 2009 Qantas has opened up new flying opportunities to external candidates. The airline has reported that, since applications opened last week, more than 500 pilots from Australia and overseas have applied.

According to the airline, applications covered the spectrum of experience ranging from Boeing and Airbus pilots through to experienced prop pilots looking to graduate to jets. It’s expected most of the new recruits will be brought on as ­second officers for Qantas’s A330 fleet.

“We’re encouraging pilots across the industry and across the world to apply for a role with Qantas. The applicants who meet the Qantas standard will join the world’s most trusted group of ­pilots,” Qantas chief pilot Dick Tobiano said, adding, ““I’m delighted that we have been able to create opportunities for our current flight crew this year and now can open up the doors to aspiring Qantas pilots.”

The airline is going through an assessment and selection process before on-board training starts in January. The first of the new recruits are expected to be ready for duty by May.

Before opening pilot applications, the company also held an internal recruitment programme, where QantasLink pilots were also invited to apply to move across to the main Qantas jet fleet. As a result, a statement from the airline explained that QantasLink will be seeking pilots as “backfill”. Qantas’s low-cost carrier Jetstar is also on a recruitment drive, with plans to boost its pilot ranks by 50 over the next two years; Jetstar’s recruitment drive for Australia-based pilots will boost its overall pilot ranks from 800 to about 850 by 2018. All new recruits will be brought on to fly Jetstar’s 59-strong fleet of Airbus A320s and A321s that operate across Australia and New Zealand.

(Main picture: Qantas)