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Qantas Group partnership gives Massey students a flying start

Capt. Nick Collie, manager of special projects for QantasLink; Capt. Luke Fogarty, deputy chief pilot for QantasLink; Ashok Poduval, chief executive at Massey University’s School of Aviation; Capt. Ian Griggs, senior base pilot for Jetstar. Pictured with one of the School of Aviation’s Diamond aircraft at the school’s Milson Flight Centre in Palmerston North.

Students at Massey University’s School of Aviation will be offered a pathway to fly for Jetstar New Zealand, thanks to a new partnership announced today.

Massey University is the first tertiary institution outside of Australia to join the Qantas Group Future Pilot Program, which aims to recruit the best and brightest aviation students. The program will be open to graduates from the school’s Bachelor of Aviation – Air Transport Pilot qualification.

Massey School of Aviation chief executive Ashok Poduval says the partnership will be a game changer for pilot training in New Zealand.

“Massey University is proud to be the only university from New Zealand associated with the Qantas Group Future Pilot Program. This partnership is very timely, given the increasing demand for skilled pilots around the world.

“Collaborating with universities will ensure the quality of the next generation of pilots in New Zealand. For our best students, this program is an amazing opportunity to transition into a reputable airline.”

The initiative will see successful students invited to complete an intensive 12-week Airline Transition Course during the last semester of their undergraduate degree programme. Once employed, graduates will complete their training under the supervision of experienced Qantas Group pilots and become qualified as First Officers flying for Jetstar’s regional operation in New Zealand on turboprop aircraft, sitting next to an experienced captain.

Jetstar Australia and New Zealand chief pilot, Jeremy Schmidt, said the airline was pleased to partner with Massey University to create opportunities for the next generation of pilots in New Zealand.

“The students selected for this program will have an enormous head start to their career as a pilot. They will benefit from a direct pathway to Jetstar’s regional operations in New Zealand and access to our experienced pilots throughout their studies,” Captain Schmidt said.

“This program will arm high-performing, motivated students with the skills needed to transition into an airline and provide them with a platform to launch their career as a pilot.”

Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas welcomed the announcement, saying it not only provided superb ongoing employment opportunities for School of Aviation graduates in New Zealand, Australia and beyond, but also reflected on the overall excellence of Massey’s aviation qualifications and the international reputation the school had built.

“Maximising work-integrated learning is key to the learning and teaching part of our strategy,” Professor Thomas says, “and partnerships with key industry players like the Qantas Group of airlines are what enables us to succeed in that objective for the benefit of all students.”

Final-year Massey aviation students could begin the program’s Airline Transition Course as early as the end of this year.

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