Qantas long haul pilots will begin their industrial campaign from Friday with pilots to make inflight addresses over the PA system to raise awareness of AIPA’s campaign to have a ”Qantas flight/Qantas pilot’ clause included in a new enterprise agreement.
“AIPA has given Qantas management notice today that it will be commencing unauthorised inflight announcements on Qantas long haul flights. I want to stress these announcements will be brief and they will be positive. After all, Qantas pilots are attempting to defend the brand they care deeply about,” said AIPA spokesman and Qantas pilot Nathan Safe.
“When Australians board a Qantas flight, they expect a Qantas pilot at the controls. AIPA’s initial campaign is going to focus purely on raising awareness of the fact that this very basic expectation is under threat.”
Qantas, which has said it doesn’t expect any flights to be disrupted by the action, said in a statement in response that it was “disappointed that the pilots’ union would intentionally disturb customers’ inflight experience to make a point during an industrial dispute.”
Qantas characterised the dispute as about “the pilots’ union attempting to force all Qantas subsidiaries including Jetstar, to pay the same high rates as Qantas. The union is also demanding pay increases and free flights on top of already heavily discounted airfares… The claim appears to be designed to damage the viability of Jetstar and other subsidiaries in the naive belief that this will lead to increased activity in Qantas.”
As part of its public awareness campaign, AIPA has also launched a new website – qantaspilots.com.au – and billboard advertising in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.