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Australian first: University-trained pilots set to soar into career pathway

Published:15 November 2019

CQUniversity Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology Steve Hall, Captain Andy Bauer, Base Manager Virgin Australia, Captain Mark Dorward, Managing Director Hinterland Aviation, Associate Vice-Chancellor (Cairns & Far North Queensland Region) Jodie Duignan-George and Vice-Chancellor and President Prof Nick Klomp celebrated an Australian first in Cairns on 15 November as they announced a partnership in which University-trained pilots will be given the opportunity to pathway from a pilot career with a regional airline to a major national airline within two years of graduating.

In an Australian first, university aviation graduates will be given the opportunity to pathway from a pilot career with a regional airline to a major national airline within two years of graduating.

CQUniversity Australia, Hinterland Aviation and Virgin Australia Airlines have entered into a partnership that will provide the first-of-its-kind pathway for graduate pilots.

“This is a momentous partnership not only for CQUniversity, Hinterland and Virgin Australia but more importantly for the opportunity it provides to our graduating pilots,” CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Klomp said.

“Not only is this partnership addressing the global pilot shortage but it also aligns with the University’s Strategic Plan by providing sector-leading graduate opportunities.

“Through this agreement Cairns regional airline Hinterland Aviation will be able to employ students immediately upon completing their CQUniversity degrees, and then after a period of two years the student will have the opportunity to apply for a position with Virgin Australia.”

Virgin Australia's General Manager, Aircraft Operations, Mike Fitzgerald welcomed the partnership.

“Investing in the future generation of pilots is a top priority for Virgin Australia, and we’re pleased to be participating in this initiative alongside CQUniversity Australia and Hinterland Aviation and providing students with the opportunity for potential employment with our airline in their future careers,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

Hinterland Aviation Managing Director Mark Dorward said his company was proud to partner with CQUniversity and Virgin Australia on this initiative.

“Hinterland Aviation is proud to be part of this initiative to develop a graduate pilot career continuum,” Mr Dorward said.

“We see the potential of this pathway, which, through partnership, provides opportunities to ensure that all aspects of training and development are strategically aligned for mutual benefit.

“This partnership is an exciting opportunity in developing a sustainable supply of highly capable aviation professionals across the industry.”