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Qantas boss Alan Joyce says that encouraging female school students to look to careers in the cockpit will help address the global pilot shortage. Speaking on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association conference in Sydney, Mr Joyce said “we’ve seen a bit of a shortage here in Australia and airlines here are investing very heavily” in dealing with the issue.   “Going back to the diversity question in particular, it’s also getting people at schools interested in STEM subjects,” Mr Joyce said.

He said that Qantas had sent its chief pilots into schools here “encouraging young girls so we have a bigger pool to select people from and we get more people getting qualifications”.

Mr Joyce also stepped up the push for changes to airport regulation. He said the global aviation industry was “paying attention to the bad example that’s been set here with the privatisation of airports in this country”. The comments come as IATA downgraded its forecasts on global airline profits because of rising fuel and labour costs.  While IATA had been forecasting a $US38.4 billion profit for 2018 in December, it now expects that the collective net profit will be $US33.8 bn. “Solid profitability is holding up in 2018 despite rising costs,” IATA’s director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said.

The peak body for the world’s airlines is expecting the full-year average cost of the benchmark crude to be $US70 a barrel, up from $US54.9 a barrel in 2017.
On airport privatisation, Mr de Juniac said the phenomena “has not lived up to airline expectations”.