Aviation

Jetstar facing possible Christmas disruptions as pilots demand pay hike

Jetstar pilots are threatening potential industrial action over Christmas due to a breakdown of enterprise agreement negotiations.

The Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) has applied to the Fair Work Commission for work stoppage protections, according to the Financial Review.

The union is after salary increases for Jetstar pilots, but the airline said the union is demanding a 15 per cent pay hike, which it could not accept.

A spokesperson for Jetstar told Travel Weekly the airline is committed to reaching an agreement for a new EBA to support its pilots, but not at any cost.

“It’s very disappointing that the AFAP has applied for a vote on industrial action given we have been in constructive discussions about a new enterprise agreement since January,” the spokesperson said.

“There are many complex areas to discuss and working through the AFAP’s numerous claims and their many modifications takes time.”

Captains and first officers working for the airline earn between $184,260 and $323,274 and the airline said there is scope for a 3 per cent rise in the enterprise agreement.

AFAP executive director Simon Lutton told the Financial Review that this isn’t good enough for the “lowest-paid jet airline pilots”.

“Jetstar pilots are paid significantly less than their counterparts at Tigerair, Virgin [Australia] and Qantas,” he said.

“And they are tired of not being valued as highly as their peers at other airlines.

“Jetstar pilots are disappointed to have to take this step but … they have been left with no choice.”

It is being speculated that the industrial action could affect the Christmas period, as it must take place 30 days after the work stoppage protections have been requested.

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