Qantas Disappointed by Pilots' Union Action

Sydney, 19 July 2011

Qantas has been informed by the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) that long-haul pilots will take industrial action from this Friday including making union announcements to passengers over the in-flight public address system.

Qantas is assessing the implications of the work bans and will write to the pilots’ union to seek clarification. At this stage we don’t expect any flight delays or cancellations.

Qantas’ priority is always to our customers and we are disappointed that the pilots' union would intentionally disturb customers’ in-flight experience to make a point during an industrial dispute.

This dispute is about the pilots’ union attempting to force all Qantas subsidiaries including Jetstar, to pay the same high rates as Qantas. The union is also demanding pay increases and free flights on top of already heavily discounted airfares.

The claim, if it were ever conceded, would drive up airfares, cost jobs and make Qantas airlines and routes unprofitable.

Despite the union’s slogans, all Qantas-operated flights are flown by Qantas pilots including every Qantas mainline domestic flight and every mainline international flight.

This claim is actually a requirement that pilots flying for all Qantas affiliate airlines, including Jetstar and Jetconnect, are either paid the same premium rates and working conditions as Qantas pilots or that Qantas stop flying codeshare flights with other airlines within the Qantas Group.

The claim appears to be designed to damage the viability of Jetstar and other subsidiaries in the naive belief that this will lead to increased activity in Qantas.

Qantas encourages the pilots’ union to work with the business to address the real challenges facing the Qantas International business.

The claim from AIPA includes:
- So called ‘job security’ claim;
- 2.5 per cent increases in wages each year for the next three years;
- New classification table which would lock in pay rates for aircraft that are not yet part of the Qantas fleet;
- 2 free of charge international economy tickets each year (upgradeable to First), in addition to already heavily discounted airfares and at the expense of paying customers;
- Qantas to fund two full time union officials at a cost of up to $1 million per year; and
- Discounted Qantas Club membership for pilots and their families.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (5154a)