The new Training Centre will house the majority of at-work training and development for Air New Zealand pilots, cabin crew, engineers and airport staff as well as pre-employment and degree programmes for students of aviation.

Mr Duynhoven said he was delighted to be present at the opening of the Training Centre as this was an important step forward for the industry.

"Safety in transport systems is generally the result of four interlocking factors; education, engineering, enforcement and management systems. They all work together to improve the overall safety of our transport system. Training centres, like this one, provide vital parts of this jigsaw," he said.

In officially opening the Air New Zealand Training Centre, Ralph Norris commended the efforts of all involved and said that the centralised facility would greatly enhance the airline's training capacity.

"For many years an extensive range of specialist training has been provided, however the training needs of our workforce have increased as the business has grown. The need for an upgrade of training facilities and equipment has been identified over time, as has the need for increased recruitment and training to support future work levels," he said.

Mr Norris also pointed out that while Air New Zealand is committed to developing the skills of its workforce, the company is also making considerable investment in the future of young New Zealanders.

"As one of the best businesses in the country we can offer a range of rewarding work opportunities to those seeking a career with the airline. We are committed to attracting New Zealanders into the business through our training programmes and this Centre will help make that happen," said Mr Norris.

"Already in March this year the first students enrolled in the Bachelor of Aviation degree programme in aircraft maintenance (developed by Air New Zealand's Engineering School together with Massey University) commenced their training at the Centre," he said.

The first stage of the Centre's development has seen the completion of classrooms, workshops and hangar space for Air New Zealand Engineering Services with the completion of specific training areas for pilots and cabin crew scheduled for September this year.

When fully operational in December this year, the Centre will have the capacity to support up to 400 students daily.

FYI - Air New Zealand Training Centre brochure is attached.

Air New Zealand Training Centre

NOTE: The content of all Air New Zealand media releases are accurate at the time of issue, as stated at the top of each release. For updates on any changes, please contact Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Aegean Airlines, Air India, Brussels Airlines and TAM have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 19,500 daily flights to 1,071 airports in 171 countries.

For more information about Air New Zealand visit www.airnewzealand.com and for more information about Star Alliance visit www.staralliance.com.