Jetstar is teaming up with Massey University to help train pilots for its regional operation.

The airline will provide mentoring by Qantas Group pilots during the studies and a direct pathway to an airline when they graduate.

Successful students will be invited to complete an intensive 12-week airline transition course for between six and 10 pilots at the completion of their degree. There is no financial help for the extra training.

Jetstar says it has about 130 pilots in New Zealand, including 45 in the turboprop regional operation and the remainder in is A320 domestic and Tasman/Cook Islands operation.


While the airline has had some cases of crew shortages leading to cancellations, it says it has enough pilots to ensure it is ''stable'' for its flying needs.

The recruitment scheme is open to aviation students at Massey's flying school in Palmerston North and formed part of the Qantas Group Future Pilot Programme, launched in Australia late last year.

There is a worldwide shortage of pilots.

Massey is the first university outside Australia to be a part of the Qantas Group programme.

Based on current university intakes at Massey University the programme will be open to a potential pool of up to 200 students enrolled in the Bachelor of Aviation each year.

Jetstar Australia and New Zealand chief pilot Jeremy Schmidt said students selected for this programme would have an ''enormous'' head start to their career as a pilot.

''They will benefit from a direct pathway to Jetstar's regional operations in New Zealand and access to our experienced pilots throughout their studies," Schmidt said.

First officers fly Jetstar's regional New Zealand fleet of 50-seat Q300s, sitting next to a captain. Jetstar's regional planes fly to Napier, New Plymouth, Nelson and Palmerston North.


The airline says pilots would later be well positioned to extend their career as opportunities within the broader Qantas Group of airlines arise, including in Australia.

First officers start on around $60,000 to $80,000 a year, including allowances.