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FlyPelican launches regional pilot cadet program

written by Jake Nelson | July 6, 2023

NSW regional and charter airline FlyPelican has introduced a new pilot cadetship program.

Partnering with flight training provider Inbound Aviation, the Newcastle-based airline – which operates a fleet of 19-seat British Aerospace Jetstream 32 turboprop aircraft servicing regional routes around NSW and the ACT – will take on its first cadets in late August.

“This cadetship provides a unique opportunity taking cadets from zero flight experience to the right-hand seat of a high-performance, multi-crew airline environment, undertaking multi-faceted roles with the only local Newcastle-based airline,” said FlyPelican executive Henry Murcott.

Inbound Aviation’s managing director, Tom Gollan, said the company is “honoured” to have been trusted with FlyPelican’s first cadetship program.


“We believe strongly in supporting local aviation, and providing high quality training. We are excited to bring the next generation of pilots into the FlyPelican family,” he said.

“We look forward to building a long-lasting partnership with FlyPelican.”

FlyPelican’s move comes amid a broader skills shortage in the aviation sector, which has seen airlines like Rex cut regional routes due to a lack of available talent, while Bonza has cancelled flights after mechanical issues prevented pilot training.

The shortages of regional pilots and engineers have become a well-known issue, with the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) joining a new alliance earlier this year to push for more attention on the issue.

“It’s no use hoping people will just move to the regions – we need better housing, education, health care, and of course, air services for vital connectivity,” said RAAA CEO Steven Campbell, who hopes to see these critical skills shortages in regional aviation alleviated.

Campbell has pointed to a report from the US Regional Airlines Association on regional pilot shortages, which showed 324 regional American airports have lost a third of their service on average, with more than 50 losing over half of their air service and 14 losing air service entirely.

“This is just around the corner for us here in Australia, which is being exacerbated by a critical shortage in aircraft maintenance engineers,” he said.

“We can’t just expect people to move to the regions, so I am pleased that the private sector is doing its bit to push this agenda to the top of the priority list for the current government.”

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