20-May-2011 10:47 AM

Australian airlines seek approval to lower cabin crew numbers

Qantas and Virgin Australia are lobbying the Civil Aviation Safety Authority for changes that would reduce the minimum number of cabin crew on services from the current one for every 36 passengers to one for every 50 (The Australian/The Australian Financial Review, 20-May-2011). The Flight Attendants Association of Australia has warned that doing so would reduce safety and compromise the last line of defence against terrorist attack. Airlines maintain there is no evidence to suggest flights with fewer flight attendants were less safe or secure, arguing that the standard requires updating to bring Australia in line with regulations in Europe and the US.