Qantas to Minimise Impact of Union Strike Action in Perth
Sydney, 01 July 2011
Qantas will use several smaller QantasLink aircraft and have extra staff at Perth Airport next week to minimise disruptions to passengers from strike action by the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA).
On the morning of Tuesday 5 July, Qantas will be forced to cancel a small number of domestic flights and delay several flights for up to 90 minutes.
Qantas will use QantasLink Boeing 717 aircraft to fly some routes normally flown by Qantas Boeing 737s as these aircraft will be grounded during the rolling two hour strikes.
The union action will not impact Qantas international services. Western Australian QantasLink services, our Fly-in Fly-out operations or Jetstar services.
The ALAEA is taking strike action as part of negotiations for a new pay agreement.
The union is demanding unreasonable pay increases, resisting changes which will improve productivity and want to entrench outdated work practices on modern aircraft.
Qantas Group Executive Operations, Lyell Strambi, said Qantas would contact affected passengers early next week to inform them of the changes to services.
“We apologise to passengers who may be impacted by the union action. We are doing everything we can to get passengers to their destinations as quickly as possible and minimise disruptions,” Mr Strambi said.
“Most people are surprised that the union is going on strike while services are still being impacted by the volcanic ash cloud and during school holidays in the eastern states. If the union is serious about not disrupting the travel plans of Australians then they should call off the strikes immediately.
“We want to reach an agreement with our licensed engineers, and are willing to negotiate reasonable increases in pay and conditions, but we simply cannot agree to all of the union’s demands.
“Our licensed engineers do a fantastic job and wouldn’t want to disrupt the travelling public but they are being directed to do so by the union.”
Qantas is currently assessing the impact on services from 2 hour union-led work stoppages in Brisbane on Wednesday 6 July. Qantas has also received notice for similar union action in Adelaide and Darwin on Thursday 7 July.
In May, the ALAEA organised a one hour strike for Qantas licensed engineers across Australia, This strike action was pulled at the last minute but only after travel plans had already been disrupted.
Mr Strambi said claims by senior union officials that Qantas was offshoring all of its maintenance and stopping safety checks were not true.
“Qantas does 90 per cent of aircraft maintenance in Australia. All maintenance, regardless of where it is performed, is done at facilities that have been approved by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), following the same Qantas system of maintenance and overseen by Qantas engineers.
“Qantas always applies its high safety standards and we will continue to do all safety checks in accordance with the requirements of CASA.”
For the latest flight details passengers should visit qantas.com
Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (5145)