Following discussions with the Federal Government, regulators and industry, the Qantas Group will have two approved people in the cockpit at all times in-flight.
This includes Qantas, QantasLink, Network Aviation and Jetstar flights.
When one pilot needs to leave the cockpit for any reason, another authorised person will occupy the jump seat (as distinct from the control seats occupied by the Captain and First Officer) until they return.
This policy applies to aircraft with more than 50 seats. Of a total Qantas Group fleet of around 300 aircraft, this excludes Qantaslink’s fleet of 18 Q200s and Q300s, which generally operate on short sectors of one or two hours where the need for pilots to leave the cockpit is minimal.
Qantas Group flights have between two and four operating pilots on board, depending on duration and aircraft type.
The safety and health of customers and employees is the Qantas Group’s number one priority. We have a comprehensive safety management system that guards against risks to our operations.
There are numerous layers of screening and support for pilots, ranging from regular medical checks to stress management training and confidential counselling and pilot-to-pilot support networks.
Together with regulators and other airlines, Qantas will closely study any learnings that stem from the Germanwings tragedy to help make aviation even safer.
Our deepest sympathies are with the loved ones of all those on board flight 4U9525.