Qantas Reaches Agreement With FAAA- International

Sydney, 02 November 2004

Qantas said today it had reached agreement with the union representing long haul flight attendants on the establishment of a crew base in London and a new enterprise bargaining agreement that will come into effect in December.

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Geoff Dixon, said the successful conclusion of negotiations followed discussions in the Industrial Relations Commission and removed the threat of industrial action by cabin crew over Christmas.

The main features of the agreement included:

the establishment, as announced in June, of a Qantas crew base in London for 400 international flight attendants that will save $18 million annually through rostering efficiencies and reduced accommodation and allowance costs;

capping the total number of international flight attendants employed in overseas bases at 870 in the new enterprise bargaining agreement (Qantas currently has about 370 international flight attendants based in Bangkok and Auckland);

Australia-based flight attendants continuing to have access to one flight a day to London (Qantas currently operates 27 flights a week to London).

"As we announced in June, the London crew base will deliver significant savings and no current crew will lose their job as a result of opening the base," Mr Dixon said.

"Qantas now operates 27 return flights to London each week and the establishment of the new crew base is in the best interests of the business because it will deliver efficiencies that will allow Qantas to continue to grow and be successful.

"Qantas is a global airline with very significant offshore operations and we cannot continue to source all our people and services in Australia alone.

"However, as we have said in the past, the majority of Qantas' international crew and the majority of all Qantas employees will continue to be based in Australia."

Mr Dixon said Qantas and the FAAA International Division had also reached agreement on a new enterprise bargaining agreement that will come into effect in mid-December.

The agreement, which includes a three per cent per annum increase for the next three years, will be put to long haul flight attendants for approval.

Mr Dixon said Qantas had stated previously that it was training fixed term international flight attendants in case they were needed over the peak Christmas holiday period and also in case the FAAA carried out its threat of industrial action over Christmas.

In light of the settlement reached with the FAAA, Qantas was reviewing its requirements for fixed term flight attendants over the coming months and would be speaking to all the trainees about other opportunities that arise across the Qantas Group.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3178)