12-Jul-2011 8:00 AM

Qantas confirms industrial action by long-haul pilots

Qantas expressed (11-Jul-2011) disappointment that its pilots, represented by the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA), have voted in favour of industrial action, stating it could cause disruptions to Australian travellers. The airline said it is prepared to negotiate "sensible and reasonable increases in pay and conditions" for its long-haul pilots, with Qantas labelling the current union demands as "excessive and unsustainable". "The pilots’ union is demanding pay increases, free flights on top of already heavily discounted airfares and a requirement that pilots on all Qantas airlines, including Jetstar, are paid the same high rates as Qantas pilots," Qantas said, adding that "paying Qantas pilot rates to pilots for Jetstar would drive up ticket prices, make Jetstar unprofitable and set precedents for other staff salaries." [more]

AIPA's claim includes:

  • 2.5% increases in wages each year for the next three years;
  • New classification table which would lock in pay rates for aircraft that are not part of the Qantas fleet;
  • Two free international economy tickets each year (upgradeable to First), in addition to existing travel benefits and at the expense of paying customers;
  • Qantas to fund two full time union officials at a cost of up to AUD1 million per year.

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