SIA to close advanced pilot training facility in Queensland

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Singapore Airlines' subsidiary Singapore Flying College (SFC) will close its advanced training facility in Maroochydore, Queensland as a result of changes to its pilot training curriculum.

"The decision follows a detailed review, with parent company Singapore Airlines, which has resulted in an increase in the amount of training provided in Singapore with state-of-the-art training devices," a spokesman for SIA tells Flightglobal.

He adds that most of the centre's staff have been made redundant, and it is to formally close on 31 March next year. Three simulators and four Cessna Mustang business jets operated by SFC will be put up for sale as a result.

The Star Alliance carrier adds that the Maroochydore closure does not affect its basic training operations that are conducted in Jandakot, western Australia.

The news comes as SIA deals with an acute surplus of pilots. The carrier began offering some first officers voluntary unpaid leave last year, and this year extended that to some captains. It has also released a number of pilots on fixed-term contracts early.

The airline has previously blamed the poor economic conditions in recent years for a lack of capacity growth, which has led to the pilot surplus.