Qantas Airways’ regional domestic arm QantasLink has unveiled
network cuts as a result of a pilot shortage that has also hit competitor
Regional Express (Rex).
QantasLink says in a statement that it is making “further
schedule changes on its Queensland and New South Wales routes due to the higher
than normal pilot attrition rate”.
It says it will be temporarily suspending services on some
routes and the schedule changes are expected to be in place until at least
Australia’s domestic market has been growing rapidly in part
as a result of new competition and several airlines have been suffering from
severe pilot shortages. Rex, for example, has unveiled several route cuts in
recent weeks as a result of a pilot shortage.
QantasLink says in its statement that it is working to train
more pilots and these measures should help “to restore pilot numbers over the
next few months”.
“We have received over 500 applications for a new QantasLink
pilot trainee programme and the first graduates from this programme are
expected to start flying for QantasLink by the end of June,” it adds.
The network changes will see QantasLink suspending its six weekly
Newcastle-Sydney services, which follows the recent suspension of
Newcastle-Brisbane and Newcastle-Melbourne services. Qantas’ low-cost arm
Jetstar still offers services between Newcastle and both Brisbane and
QantasLink will also suspend two of its 24 Hervey
Bay-Brisbane services as well as a daily Brisbane-Mackay service, although it
will retain one daily Brisbane-Mackay service and Jetstar will still have three
flights per day on the route.