Qantas to open Melbourne base

Airline aims to improve scheduling, reduce costs by moving pilots to the city.

Qantas (QAN) will open an Airbus A380 pilot base in Melbourne as part of its efforts to reduce costs and improve scheduling.

The carrier has announced it will also establish a base for Boeing 737 pilots in Adelaide, from where it operates about 500 flights a week.

It's expected 30 pilots would be based in Adelaide.

The airline said 737 pilots based in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth were required to stay overnight in Adelaide to operate the first wave of early morning flights, and that establishing a pilot base in Adelaide would reduce costs and improve scheduling processes.

Qantas has 737 bases in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

The establishment of an A380 base in Melbourne was expected to result in about 50 pilots moving to the city.

The airline said the creation of the Adelaide and Melbourne bases would not affect the total number of 737 and A380 pilots employed by the airline, but rather where they are located.

"Given Melbourne is a key part of our international network, it makes sense to open an A380 pilot base there," Qantas head of flying operations Captain Mike Galvin said.

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