Pilots across the Qantas group of airlines will “FlyPink” in October as part of breast cancer awareness month.
The initiative features pilots donating money to wear pink epaulettes in place of their usual gold epaulettes to show their support for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Qantas said on Friday the pink epaulettes, an idea from QantasLink captain Susan McHaffie, would be available to 3,000 pilots across Qantas, QantasLink, Jetstar, NZ-based JetConnect and Network Aviation, as well as at Cobham and Express Freighters Australia.
“Together with Qantas, it is my goal to raise $20,000 for breast cancer research. I hope by next year I’ll walk past a pilot I don’t know in an international airport wearing pink epaulettes in support of breast cancer research,” Captain McHaffie said in a statement.
McHaffie said the idea came to her after he aunt was diagnosed and beat breast cancer.
Qantas has been a long-time supporter of the National Breast Cancer Foundation and unveiled a pink QantasLink Q400 turboprop in 2007 as part of its partnership with the organisation.
The wearing of pink epaulettes is one of a number of ways Qantas is supporting National Breast Cancer Foundation in October, including QantasLink serving food in FlyPink branded boxes, collection tins in crew rooms and holding Pink Ribbon breakfasts.
QantasLink chief pilot Captain Nathan Miller said he hoped the FlyPink initiative would be taken up by other carriers.
“As a global carrier, we hope we can help our pilots take the FlyPink initiative from Australia to the world and are challenging other airlines to join us,” Captain Miller said.
National Breast Cancer Foundation chair Elaine Henry said the proceeds from the FlyPink campaign would be used for brest cancer research projects in Australia.
“Every day in 2015, 42 women in Australia are diagnosed with breast cancer, and it is still the biggest cause of cancer-related death in women globally,” Henry said.
“We believe that research is the key to eradicating the disease, and credit research with the many advances that have been made in breast cancer care and treatment over the past few decades.”
More information can be found on the www.flypink.net website.