Published on 2nd May 2023 at 7:12

The Qantas Group will provide 50 scholarships to female students and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to help them get their careers off to a flying start at the airline’s Pilot Academy.

The $1.5 million investment over five-years is part of Qantas and Jetstar’s plans to meet demand for Australia’s growing aviation industry and encourage more diversity in the flight deck.

The scholarship program will almost double in size, following a three-year pause during the pandemic, with Qantas awarding 10 scholarships each year, up from six previously.

Each scholarship is worth up to $30,000 and covers accommodation at the Academy, meals and utilities. Tuition fees are additional.

Launched in 2020, the Qantas Group Pilot Academy aims to build a long-term talent pipeline for Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar, and help the broader industry meet the increasing need for skilled aviators. The Group expects to increase its pilot numbers by 1,600 over the next decade as it continues to grow and launch new flights, including Project Sunrise.

Globally, around 5 per cent of commercial airline pilots are women, with Qantas slightly higher at more than 7 per cent.

Applications for the Academy’s latest intake are now open, and potential scholarship holders are encouraged to apply by submitting a written application here.

Comments from QantasLink CEO John Gissing:

“When we launched the Pilot Academy, we said we wanted to tap into a broader, more diverse talent base and through our scholarship program we’re encouraging more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and women to pursue a career in aviation,” Mr Gissing said.

“We know that we’re going to need to draw from a wider pool of talent than we have traditionally if we’re going to meet that demand for pilots, both for us and the broader industry.

“While we’re slightly above the global average in terms of female pilots, we know we still have a lot of work to do.

“Doubling the size of our scholarship program will help encourage more women and First Nations students take the first step towards their career as an aviator.”


  • The Pilot Academy course has been designed in partnership with FTA to train students with little to no flying experience and includes theory and practical components.
  • After completing the 12-months training, graduates will hold three qualifications including a Commercial Pilot Licence, ready to commence a career in commercial or general aviation. Graduates will join the Group’s pilot talent pool and have access to opportunities with partner airlines.
  • Training facilities at the Pilot Academy comprise of a 1500 square metre hangar, four flight training simulators, classrooms as well as purpose-built pre-flight briefing and flight scheduling areas. Students learn to fly in single-engine Diamond DA40 and multi-engine DA42 aircraft.