Mackay Secures Qantas Pilot Academy

In exciting news for the region, Qantas has today announced that it has selected Mackay as the second destination for its pilot academy.

Qantas announced its intentions to build a pilot academy in February last year, attracting bids from regional centres across the country.

Following Qantas’ announcement of Toowoomba as the first successful bid in September last year, Mackay, along with Alice Springs, Bendigo, Busselton, Dubbo, Launceston, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga remained shortlisted as sites for a second academy.

As in Toowoomba, Mackay is now set to benefit from investments in infrastructure including construction of hangars, classrooms and student accommodation.

Welcoming Qantas’ announcement is Mackay Tourism General Manager Tas Webber.

“Thank you to Qantas for selecting Mackay as the destination for its next pilot training academy,” he said.

“Mackay offered Qantas year-round beautiful Queensland weather, perfect conditions to live and learn to fly.”

Mr Webber continued, “Mackay’s existing modern infrastructure and the support of our local community, as evidenced with our #MackayWantsYouQantas campaign, all no doubt contributed to Qantas’s decision.”

“The Qantas pilot academy will not only bring investment and jobs into Mackay, but will further help put our region on the map,” he said.

Mr Webber continued, “once fully operational, Qantas is expected to train as many as 500 pilots a year across the two sites. These pilots will attract a substantial Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) market to Mackay.”

“Mackay’s attractiveness to learn, work and play will also be promoted across Australia and globally as each new pilot that graduates from the academy becomes an ambassador for The Mackay Region,” he added.

“Today’s announcement is a further demonstration of the close, and fruitful, partnership that exists between Mackay Tourism and Qantas,” explained Mr Webber.

“Cape Hillsborough and it’s wallabies being featured in 2017’s Qantas’ inflight safety video, and more recently in the Qantas family time advertisement, has bought extensive media and social media value to Mackay, and raised the profile of the region’s considerable tourism destinations and experiences,” he said.

Mr Webber finished by saying, “Mackay Tourism is committed to partnering with Qantas to develop further marketing opportunities.”



Daniel Brown - Communications Officer

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Published: 5 July 2019 

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