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Airline cancels flights from Toowoomba to tropical city

TOBI LOFTUS

 

16th Jul 2018 5:00 AM

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REGIONAL airline Airnorth will cancel its flights to Cairns from Toowoomba's Wellcamp Airport later this year.

 

On Friday the airline contacted customers booked on flights after mid-October to let them know their flights had been cancelled.

 

Robin Beazley was due to fly to Cairns in November, but was told by the airline on Friday her flight, and all flights to Cairns from October, had been cancelled.

 

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"I'm very sad after I was informed by Airnorth that my flight had been cancelled," Ms Beazley said.

 

"(It's) apparently due to lack of bookings."

 

Ms Beazley said her daughter lived in Cairns and she regularly used the airline to fly to the tropical city.

 

"I have thoroughly enjoyed all my flights, whether they were north or south, with Airnorth, as have all my family over the last couple of years," she said.

 

"The convenience of only having to drive to Wellcamp could not be beaten.

 

"Hopefully they will reconsider their decision to reinstate flights to Cairns if public demand does improve."

 

It still operates flights from Wellcamp to Melbourne and to Townsville, with the later flight expanding operations to four services a week in January of this year.

 

At the time Airnorth said it was committed to "servicing the Darling Downs region".

 

"Toowoomba and Darling Downs residents continue to remain positive towards the 14 weekly services that Airnorth operates in and out of Wellcamp Airport," a spokesperson said in January.

 

In June, Qantas announced it had cut two of its flights between Wellcamp and Sydney, due to the international pilot shortage.

 

Airnorth has been contacted for comment about the Cairns route cancellation.

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Toowoomba to Sydney service cut back by Qantas

ANTON ROSE

 

31st May 2018 3:23 PM | Updated: 1st Jun 2018 1:40 AM

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1

TOOWOOMBA Wellcamp Airport has revealed that Qantas cut "14 per cent" of its flights from the Garden City to Sydney in the last fortnight.

 

The reason for the cut - a national pilot shortage.

 

The new timetable came into effect on May 22, with the airport's general manager Sara Hales confirming Toowoomba would lose some of its early weekday morning services to Sydney.

 

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"What has happened in regards to the Qantas change is that they have been affected by a pilot shortage.

 

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Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport general manager Sara Hales. Picture: Annette Dew

"Nationally and globally it has been a really big problem for them but we haven't been impacted that badly.

 

"There's a silver lining because we have a mid-morning flight that comes from Sydney and goes back. We picked up some but we lost the early flights."

 

Ms Hales said the changes had impacted the entire Qantas network in Australia, with some airports losing the service altogether.

 

The Toowoomba schedule was revised as a result of the flying kangaroo attempting to navigate turbulent times in the industry.

 

 

 

 

 

Brisbane West Wellcamp airport: QantasLink is the first customer for Wagner's Brisbane West Wellcamp airport

 

"It's not the end of the world, but it is disappointing," Ms Hales said.

 

"They remain committed to our community and our market despite this.

 

"Qantas anticipates that it will be able to loosen those pressure at some point later in the year. They are faced with a very serious and genuine issue.

 

"They have done their very best in maintaining the services we had, we never had an evening service and now we do."

 

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A screenshot of one customer who detailed on Facebook their flight cancellation as a result of the changes.

Qantas confirmed the changes in a statement to The Chronicle.

 

"Late last year we announced we were adjusting our QantasLink schedules to deal with pilot resourcing issues mostly impacting our 717 and turboprop fleets operating across Queensland and New South Wales," A Qantas spokesman said.

 

"As a part of the review there has been a minor reduction in the number of frequencies between Sydney and Wellcamp with the removal of two services per week.

 

"Wellcamp is an important part of Qantas' regional network and we're doing all we can to restore capacity and frequency across the network. Our schedule is expected to improve from the fourth quarter of this calendar year."

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I vaguely remember some half baked conspiracy theory about QANTAS trying to use a pilot shortage as an excuse to hire international pilots to fly domestically on skilled migrant visas. I think it was in a thread titled “Bloody Jetstar”.

 

The conspiracy seems to have worked so well that last month Immigration removed pilots from the list of needed skills.

 

This has left a few commercial balloon operators in a bind because they can’t train enough people to do the work during festivals (Leeton, Canberra, Hunter Valley, Canowindra etc) and the list just said “pilots”.

 

I think the comment was posted by @abraindeadlemming but I don’t hear from that forum user anymore

Edited by Guest
  • Informative 1

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the LNP have changed the rules, now a business can request an exemption from 457 visa restriction if they are unable to fill an advertised position. Keep up with it Mathew

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@fly_tornado my GP has advised me that that I should avoid reading anything by nuts. In an unrelated move I have ignored your posts with good reason; I have a life. I am not an immigration lawyer and neither are you @fly_tornado. It's obvious so stop prentending. For an employer to sponsor a skilled visa it takes over $4,000 and over 12 months (up to 19 months) from application submission to the first working day. Plus the skill needs to be on the [B]TSS[/B] list (ironically) and a bunch of other limitations and the visa is for [B]permanent[/B] residency. This isn't the change its been that way since early 2017. Which airline has done this? I want an answer. I wrote the list has changed. You want to bad mouth me, fine but get your facts straight. QANTAS and Rex both know they can train first officers in around 9 months. One of my old instructors started at Rex Australian Airline Pilot Academy last week. He said "classes are full". Muppets should draw their own conclusions. On the subject of claiming that Justice Flanagan's decision was politically influenced, @fly_tornado take what you know to the Crime and Corruption Commission. Alternatively admit to yourself you are full of ill informed politically motivated spite and move on. I know the rest of the forum has. QANTAS was due to announce TWO new training academies about now. A quick check hasn't turned anything up today which means Wellcamp is still in the running. It would be a sweet irony for Wellcamp to be selected. In my opinion this would show clearly that Alan Joyce doesn't hold much stock in the opinions of Alan Jones when it comes to horse farms

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New academy to train pilots at Wellcamp Airport

News

2 minutes

A NEW training academy at Wellcamp Airport will welcome its first 20 pilots today.

 

Flight Training Adelaide has expanded its operations to Toowoomba to meet national and international demand for pilots.

 

FTA managing director Johan Pienaar said the expansion was driven by "organic growth and global demand".

 

"Setting up FTA-Q at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport was an easy choice given its world-class facilities and unlimited benign airspace," Mr Pienaar said.

 

"It also gives FTA access to the eastern seaboard for student and staff recruitment.

 

"We are excited at the prospect and plan to grow the flight training academy to a 250-student school over the next three years."

 

The first 20 students will start their 52-week FTA Queensland course today which includes a commercial pilot licence, multi-engine instrument rating, and multi-crew co-operation qualification.

 

The centre will be the second for the South Australian company and will help it grow its customer base which includes QantasLink, Virgin Australia, Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon, Indigo, China Airlines and Cebu Pacific.

 

The airline cadets will, on completing their training, go on to their prospective airlines and private students will seek jobs in the industry such as charter pilots for flying instructors.

 

I'm guessing they have built some hangars!

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Why 'the best airport has won' the Qantas Pilot Academy

 

Tobi Loftus

 

7-9 minutes

 

 

TOOWOOMBA'S Wellcamp Airport was the best option for the first Qantas Pilot Training Academy, the airline's CEO has revealed.

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Alan Joyce yesterday said Qantas chose the Toowoomba location for a number of reasons.

 

"It has great facilities and it allows us to have the hanger, student accommodation and training rooms (constructed) in the period we have to have them done," he said.

 

"It allows us to have an airport that has clear skies for over 300 days a year, making it a very attractive location for trainers and students.

 

"The region itself is a great place to live, work and study. We've already had many students express their interest in moving to Toowoomba for this pilot training."

 

Mr Joyce said the academy would cost about $35 million to build, with the majority of the funds contributed by private sector.

 

"The partnerships were unique here, with the State Government and the Wagners fully behind it, which was critical," he said.

 

"The best airport has won."

 

The first intake of between 20 and 30 students is expected once construction finishes in July next year.

 

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( From left ) Denis Wagner, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Cameron Dick. Qantas pilot training academy announced for Wellcamp airport. Thursday, 27th Sep, 2018. Nev Madsen

 

A Qantas spokeswoman said the airline hoped to train 100 students in the first year of operations and then grow that to 250 in the first few years.

 

The academy will create ongoing employment for about 160 people in training and support roles.

 

Qantas has appointed L3 Commercial Aviation as the training provider for the Toowoomba site.

 

The company will bring about 40 aircraft, known as "bug smashers", to the facility.

 

Aircraft will be a mix of both single and twin-engine aircraft with glass cockpits.

 

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the announcement of the facility was "fantastic".

 

"This will be the home for training the next generation of pilots," Ms Palaszczuk said.

 

"This gives confidence in Queensland."

 

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Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. Qantas pilot training academy announced for Wellcamp airport. Thursday, 27th Sep, 2018. Nev Madsen

 

State Development Minister Cameron Dick said the announcement reiterated the fact the Q in Qantas stood for Qld.

 

"The government has worked overtime to bring the academy to the state and we are so delighted that Qantas has landed the facility here," Mr Dick said.

 

"When the facility is up and running it will be putting a quarter of a billion dollars into the local economy."

 

Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio said the announcement was an "exciting moment for Toowoomba".

 

Facility will not impact travellers to and from Wellcamp

 

WELLCAMP Airport general manager Sara Hales says extra traffic from the Qantas Pilot Training Academy's 40 light aircraft won't impact commercial flights in and around the airport.

 

Ms Hales said while the academy would be based out of Wellcamp Airport, it would utilise other airfields in the region, including as far south as Warwick and as north as Kingaroy.

 

"(This will) lower the amount of traffic at Wellcamp and make full use of available airspace," Ms Hales said.

 

"We've did a capacity study for the airfield when it was a 500-student capacity school, now it's a 250 capacity school, but even at a 500 capacity school the anticipated runaway usage still only used proportional available runway time.

 

"This doesn't hold any negative impacts in our ability to grow commercial and cargo services."

 

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( From left ) Luke Van Dijk, Pilot , Kimberley Pike, Emily Bee, First Officer. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce,Tom Fanshaw,. Qantas pilot training academy announced for Wellcamp airport. Thursday, 27th Sep, 2018. Nev Madsen

 

She said the airport would have to employ some extra staff because of the facility.

 

"We will employ some additional staff to provide services like refuelling and air services to the academy, however the biggest employment impact will be in the academy itself."

 

Ms Hales said the facility helped establish Wellcamp as a centre for excellence in aviation education.

 

"That is something we really aspire too," Ms Hales said.

 

"There are a lot of other opportunities for education in the aviation space, such as the training of flight attendants, engineering, ground staff, security staff, all sorts of aviation people and that's certainly a space we want to play in."

 

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said he did not think the school would generate enough traffic for Qantas to introduce more commercial routes to Wellcamp.

 

"We already have 12 flights a week... we think this airport has huge growth potential," Mr Joyce said.

 

"We were the first airline here so if the economics work, that will grow."

 

Academy to help with shortage

 

QANTAS CEO Alan Joyce says the new pilot academy in Toowoomba will address a global pilot shortage.

 

"We will not need 500 pilots a year for Qantas, so a significant amount of them will be for other airlines and overseas training," Mr Joyce said.

 

"In the last two years, between 2016 and 2018, we've recruited 850 new pilots for Qantas, mainly because of the 787 coming in and the extra flying we have internationally.

 

"Over the next decade Qantas may be taking aircraft for project sunrise, to fly aircraft direct from Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York, that will mean a lot of pilots in those year.

 

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An artist impression of what the Qantas Pilot Training Academy at Wellcamp Airport will look like. Contributed

 

"Some years we may take all of them, some we may take very little of them, it will depend on what the demand is for them during that period."

 

"This is a great opportunity for Australia and we're making it a business opportunity as well."

 

Mr Joyce said 790,000 new pilots were needed across the globe in the next 20 years. He said because of that, the facility would welcome students from all around the world.

 

"Toowoomba will be attractive to people close to Brisbane and attractive to people from overseas because of the location," he said.

 

"Some of the other sites may attract different people for different reasons."

 

He said it would be a number of years before the program became profitable for Qantas.

 

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An artist impression of what the Qantas Pilot Training Academy at Wellcamp Airport will look like.

Photo: Contributed.

 

"The first few years is an investment, it won't be until a few years into the program (it becomes profitable)," he said.

 

"There is a cost to the training that will be paid for by the student. It may be paid for by an airline if the airline sponsors a student, so it'll be various combinations of different ways of doing it."

 

Mr Joyce said the pilot shortage was not impacting Qantas.

 

"We are at the top of the food chain, when we advertised recently for 170 pilots we had over 1000 applicants," he said.

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Toowoomba's aviation boom: USQ program set to expand

 

Tobi Loftus

 

4 minutes

 

 

 

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28th Sep 2018 5:00 AM

 

Subscriber only

 

 

THE University of Southern Queensland is preparing to expand its aviation program to Toowoomba.

 

The university currently runs a Bachelor of Aviation degree at its Springfield campus, near Ipswich.

 

Vice Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said the announcement the Qantas Pilot Training Academy would be based in Toowoomba was exciting for students.

 

"We're looking at offering aviation here in Toowoomba in the near future," Prof Mackenzie said.

 

"We are already partnering with Qantas for the Future Pilots Program, it means students have a direct entry to Qantas if they meet the entry requirements, and this just deepens our relationships having the academy here at Wellcamp.

 

"(The academy) will open up more opportunities for students without a doubt."

 

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( From left ) Tom Fanshaw, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and Kimberley Pike. Qantas pilot training academy announced for Wellcamp airport. Thursday, 27th Sep, 2018. Nev Madsen

 

USQ Aviation head Professor Paul Bates said students at the university could apply to learn at the Qantas facility.

 

"Our students can choose where they go to do their flying training," he said.

 

"Being very co-located, I would expect a number of students to choose the Qantas academy."

 

Prof Bates said he expected the academy's announcement to lead to a boom in interest around aviation.

 

"We expect to see that excitement in aviation beating up," he said.

 

"That's a positive thing for the region and the state."

 

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USQ student Tom Fanshawe. Qantas pilot training academy announced for Wellcamp airport. Thursday, 27th Sep, 2018. Nev Madsen

 

For USQ student Tom Fanshawe, flying is a passion he has had from a young age.

 

"I've always wanted to be a pilot," Mr Fanshawe said.

 

"I was always flying on Qantaslink Dash 8 aircraft when I was growing up as I lived out at Emerald.

 

"I never thought it would be something achievable as I thought you'd have to come from a wealthy family to be a pilot."

 

Mr Fanshawe, along with fellow USQ aviation students, could be one of the first students to learn to fly at the Qantas Pilot Training Academy at Wellcamp Airport when it opens next year.

 

Fellow first year Bachelor of Aviation student Kimberley Pike said the academy was a "big deal" for students.

 

"We are mentored by Qantas, so to be trained by them is an important thing," she said.

 

"We're very eager to gain our commercial pilots licences and train with one of the best airlines in the world."

 

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USQ student Kimberley Pike. Qantas pilot training academy announced for Wellcamp airport. Thursday, 27th Sep, 2018. Nev Madsen

 

For Ms Pike, the experience of flying is all about taking off.

 

"It's the fascination of being able to lift up off the ground," she said.

 

"You look at a plane on the ground at a young age and you don't really know how it works.

 

"You then go and study aviation and you do the maths, the psychics and you put it into practice. It's amazing to be able to see how a plane takes off the ground and do that every day."

 

Applications to attend the Qantas Pilot Training Academy will open at the end of this year.

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Qantas academy has Toowoomba flying high

 

28th Sep 2018 5:00 AM

 

Subscriber only

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WE'RE flying high today.

 

In an incredible win for Toowoomba and the Darling Downs, Qantas has announced plans to build the first of its pilot training academies in our region.

 

It pays to not be overly optimistic when eight other cities have been shortlisted for these facilities, but I don't think anyone should be surprised.

 

 

This decision came down to the criteria, and we've known from the day this was announced we ticked all the boxes.

 

The economic boost this training academy will bring to the region cannot be understated.

 

That includes the jobs and the new residents we will welcome.

 

It also sends a message to the whole of Australia that Toowoomba is a top-notch place to live and work - and study.

 

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce yesterday said he had already heard students express their interest in moving for the academy.

 

Now we wait for Qantas to decide which regional centre will host the second academy.

 

Queenslanders love to stick together, so of course I'm backing our friends in the Sugar City.

 

Best of luck to the remaining eight cities as the airline makes its final decision.

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its pretty funny Dennis is talking about taking freight by train from Melbourne to Wellcamp and then flying it out when the freighter that flies into Wellcamp comes from Melbourne, presumably already full of fresh produce from Melbourne and Sydney

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news flash: @fly_tornado predicts training academy will use Cessna Skyhawks as primary trainers. I predict @fly_tornado will make many more predictions about Wellcamp and the academy and like his other predictions, these will be wrong too. If I had to have an opinion I would say that these academy pilots will go straight to multi crew pilots licence MPL and never ever fly alone in a real aircraft unless it's on their own coin

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@fly_tornado you missed the post from thewest.com.au about how their airports missed out. Bit biased to not post the text of those stories IN FULL as well instead of just the links or nothing at all. Isn't it? TBH if I was them I'd be blubbering in to my beer too but there can be only so manny winners :stirrer:

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