WA Qantas pilot strike wreaks havoc on FIFO and regional routes

WA Qantas pilot strike wreaks havoc on FIFO and regional routes

Qantas Group is under the pump as hundreds of its Western Australian pilots strike today calling for a new enterprise agreement that would see them “treated like other Qantas pilots.”

A large portion of the flights impacted are flown by Network Aviation, a Qantas subsidiary, which cut around 35 flights as a result of today’s strike.

The departures page of Perth Airport’s website shows 25 cancelled flights, all of which are operated by Qantas.

Perth Airport departures highlight cancellations.

Members of the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) make up 90 per cent of the more than 250 pilots employed by Network Aviation and are taking part in the industrial action which was approved by the Fair Work Commission.

“Our members deeply regret having to take this protected industrial action but are left with no other option,” senior industrial officer, AFAP, Chris Aikens, said.

“The enterprise agreement expired in 2020 and pilots had their last pay rise in 2019.

“We have been negotiating in good faith for at least 18 months but the company continues to be inflexible.

“We remain keen and willing to meet with the company’s management to arrive at some improvements in terms and conditions for the lowest paid jet pilots in the Qantas Group.”

The seven terms and conditions that the pilots have put to the company include:

  • Two-hour (not 90 minutes) sign-on from reserve, as is common in the industry and in compliance with the Air Pilots Award 2020
  • 6:00am (not 4:00am) start after a day off as for pilots at other Qantas/QantasLink operations and in compliance with the Air Pilots Award 2020
  • Duty travel in a Business class seat (where available) to improve the opportunity for rest and Fatigue Management
  • Same Duty Hours Allowance as for pilots at other Qantas/QantasLink operations
  • Overtime increased using the same formula as for pilots at other Qantas/QantasLink operations
  • Ten Rostered Days Off as for pilots at other Qantas/QantasLink operations
  • Revised rostering appendix providing better rostering rules

“Network Aviation pilots in Western Australia fly the same aircraft on similar routes and just want to be treated like other Qantas pilots,” Aikens continued.

Trevor Worgan, COO of Network Aviation told 9 news the disruptions for passengers is frustrating.

“It’s disappointing that the pilots’ union have again chosen to disrupt the travel plans of Western Australians,” he said.

“We know that this disruption is frustrating for customers and we appreciate everyone’s patience.

“We’ve been working to reach a new agreement with our pilots for 18 months and have offered significant pay increases and other benefits.

“Unfortunately given the impasse, we have been left with no other option but to seek arbitration in the Fair Work Commission.”

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