Airnorth (Australia) (Darwin) has issued this statement:
Airnorth would like to issue an apology to our customers who have recently been affected by schedule changes and cancellations across our network. Airnorth, like all other regional and major airlines in Australia, is experiencing the impact of a pilot shortage that is preventing us from operating all our scheduled fights. The situation is not isolated to Airnorth or Australia, and is part of a global pilot shortage that is affecting the entire aviation industry and its customers.
We continue to recruit pilots and currently have 11 positions vacant. The induction process requires new pilots to undertake mandatory simulator and flight training before they are qualified to operate our aircraft. This process takes time, and we are currently spending in excess of half a million dollars on recruitment and training in order to continue to provide safe and reliable services for all our customers.
In December, 87.2% of Airnorth’s flights departed on-time (within 15 minutes of schedule). The most recent Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) reports (Sep-Nov 2017) show a national average of 80.5% on-time against Airnorth’s performance in the same period of 82.7%. Similarly, Airnorth has cancelled 1.3% of scheduled flights against a national average of 2.3% in the same period.
Whilst we have consolidated our schedule to reduce frequency on some routes over the next few months, there may be addional schedule changes and cancellations required due to pilot coverage and regulatory requirements. It is important that customers include up to date contact details in their booking so that we can keep them informed of any changes. Airnorth will continue to provide an exceptional level of customer service to all customers and ensure they reach their destination safely and as timely as possible.
Airnorth (Darwin) lost its Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia VH-ANB (msn 120116) on March 22 when it was destroyed on takeoff at Darwin Airport, NT (DRW), Australia. Both pilots were killed. The crew was conducting a training flight when the EMB-120 crashed at the airport’s boundary were the Darwin RAAF Station is located.
Read the full report from the Aviation Safety Network: