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Qantas comments on Fair Work Commission decision

Sydney, 18 January 2013

Qantas has today welcomed the decision by Fair Work Commission in the arbitration case with the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA).

The Fair Work Commission has endorsed Qantas’ right to manage its business. The union was not successful in its original claim that Qantas terms and conditions would in effect apply to other Qantas Group entities including Jetstar.

Qantas Group Executive Government and Corporate Affairs Olivia Wirth said the outcome provides certainty for 1600 long-haul pilots.

“Qantas welcomes the decision by the Fair Work Commission. This brings to a close the industrial disputes with three unions which affected Qantas operations in 2011,” Ms Wirth said.

“The dispute was always about Qantas retaining the right to manage its business and retaining the flexibility we need in a competitive industry like aviation. The unions’ claims that would have significantly impacted management prerogative were rejected.

"Had the union been successful with its claims, including its so-called 'job security' claims, it would have meant that over time Qantas would not be financially viable.

“Qantas also achieved a number of productivity improvements and flexibilities.

“We are pleased that our long-haul pilots have certainty, and will receive pay rises.”

“The Qantas Group employs more than 30,000 people and we have good working relationships with them and the majority of the unions which represent them.”

The Commission accepted Qantas’ evidence of the financial position of the international operation, and the industry evidence of the significant competitive environment in which Qantas International operates.

Qantas has already had resolution on the agreements for its employees represented by the Transport Workers’ Union and the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association.

Ms Wirth said that the airline remained focused on building a stronger Qantas, with significant progress towards its transformation strategy since industrial disputes ended.

“This is an exciting time for Qantas and our customers. We have made significant progress in advancing the Group’s strategy – building on our strong domestic business and frequent flyer program, growing Jetstar across Asia and turning around Qantas international.

“This year will see us continue to invest in new aircraft, improved facilities and our people. We are focussed on the proposed partnership with Emirates, with the ACCC’s decision on interim authorisation enabling us to start selling on parts of our combined network.

“Our customer satisfaction has been at near record highs for both domestic and international services, which is a credit to all of our employees.”

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (5483)
Email: qantasmedia@qantas.com.au