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FlightSafetyBoeing and Virgin Blue Select Brisbane For Australian Training Centre

10/12/2002

SEATTLE, December 09, 2002 - FlightSafety Boeing Training International (FSB) and Virgin Blue Airlines today announced Brisbane as the proposed site for a new joint training centre located in Australia – the first in the region for both companies.


The state-of-the-art facility will be built at Brisbane Airport. Construction is set to begin early next year, with the training centre expected to take its first intake of customers by the end of 2003.


Particularly convenient to Australian and Asia/Pacific airline customers, FSB’s and Virgin Blue’s Brisbane Training Centre will provide:


Full-flight simulators, which accurately produce all of the sensations of flight.

Pilot training capability on various aircraft types.

Aircraft maintenance training capability featuring networking and other advanced technology training devices.

Learning tools at the centre including workstations equipped with self-guided, computer-based training, allowing students to progress at their own pace.

“This is a very exciting venture for Virgin Blue, and we are proud to be associated with an organisation that is recognised worldwide for its training quality and standards,” said Brett Godfrey, chief executive of Virgin Blue.


He said the venture cements Brisbane and Queensland as Virgin Blue’s headquarters and gives the airline vital locally based aviation infrastructure to avoid sending pilots offshore for type ratings or simulator sessions.


“We are confident this partnership will mean great things for local aviation, great things for Queensland and great things for those who will benefit from using the facility,” Godfrey said.


Andrew Peacock, president of Boeing Australia, said the training centre is yet another demonstration of Boeing’s commitment to Australia and its local airline partners.


“This is a sizeable investment that will add to our already significant presence in southeast Queensland,” Peacock said. “The centre will add considerable economic value to the local economy, and on behalf of the 3,000 Boeing employees already in Australia, I welcome a new division of the company to our country.”


FlightSafetyBoeing President Pat Gaines said FlightSafetyBoeing’s growth in Australia is part of the company’s global expansion strategy of establishing a worldwide network of training centres.


“We are committed to ensuring that FSB continues to provide cost effective and total training solutions to support airline operators world-wide; and continues to increase training value to our customers including placing our training centres at customer locations,” Gaines said.


FSB will manage and operate the training centre and will own three of the four full-flight simulators in the new training facility. Virgin Blue will own the fourth. FSB’s Gaines added that the Brisbane Training Centre is the company’s fourth in the Asia/Pacific region, joining the existing FSB training centres in Kunming, P.R.C.; Seoul, Korea; and its affiliate centre in Singapore. In addition, FSB operates numerous training centres in Europe and the Americas.


FlightSafetyBoeing is a newly acquired wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company within the Commercial Aviation Services group. The FSB organization is a global force in airline training and is the world’s premier full-service provider of airline training. FSB provides an expanding and integrated services portfolio that comprises training materials, flight, technical, and cabin crew training. Working alongside Boeing and its subsidiaries, FSB is able to provide customers with a complete range of global air transport solutions. FSB supports the world’s aviation community with 70 full flight simulators in 20 locations in nine countries on five continents.


Virgin Blue is Australia’s award-winning low fare airline servicing every capital city and a number of regional destinations across the country. The carrier operates a fleet of 28 brand new, high-tech Next Generation Boeing 737 aircraft and employs over 2,400 team members. Based in Brisbane, QLD, Virgin Blue is committed to long-term low fares and outstanding customer service.