Jetstar could face Christmas disruptions over pilot dispute

AFAP executive director Simon Lutton said the union was taking the step because its members were disappointed negotiations with Jetstar over a new enterprise agreement had stalled.

“As negotiating with the company in good faith has got them nowhere, they have been left with no choice,” Mr Lutton said.

A Jetstar spokeswoman said it had been in constructive discussions about the new wage deal since January and remained committed to reaching an agreement, “but not at any cost”.

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

Mr Lutton said AFAP members, who make up the majority of Jetstar’s pilots, were unhappy with salary and conditions, and concerned about how the airline’s rostering practices affected pilot fatigue.

Jetstar said captains on its fleet of narrow body jets earned $304,576 on average and first officers earned $184,260 last year, including superannuation and allowances. On larger aircraft which fly international routes, that went up to $323,274 and $234,516.

The wage dispute comes at a time when Jetstar and its owner Qantas are coming under pressure from falling demand, particularly among holidaymakers, who are choosing not to travel amid softening economic conditions.

Jetstar’s unit revenue – an industry figure used to measure passenger traffic – fell 2.6 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

More to come


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