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Australia: Have Planes, Pilots Needed

Australian airline prepares skilled migrant pilots

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May 27, 2008

The Australian airline Jetstar is preparing to employ 75 foreign pilots under the federal government's temporary skilled migration visa.

Jetstar's general manager of corporate relations, Simon Westaway, says the airline needs the extra pilots to cope with its expansion, especially the use of wide-bodied jets throughout Asia.

Mr Westaway says the temporary skilled migration, or 457, visa pilots will not be taking away Australian jobs.

"We see this as a practical way for Jetstar to continue to grow, to not in essence continue to look to previous markets such as regional Australia where there is a drying pool of potential pilots coming through," he said.

The Australian Federation of Air Pilots' Laurie Cox says he is disappointed the airline had to look overseas for senior pilots, but says it is no surprise given the lack of training in the industry.

Australian airline prepares skilled migrant pilots

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