Qantas pilots to be offered voluntary redundancy

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 14, 2014
A file image of a Qantas 767. (Seth Jaworski)
A file image of a Qantas 767. (Seth Jaworski)

Qantas will offer its Boeing 767 and 747 pilots voluntary redundancy as the airline retires older aircraft from its fleet.

The Australian and International Pilots Association, which represents Qantas pilots, says it will seek a “fair and reasonable” redundancy package for those affected.

“AIPA is now negotiating with the company to ensure the voluntary redundancies offered fairly reflect the typically long years of quality service invested by Qantas pilots,” AIPA president Nathan Safe said in a statement.

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“Obviously from AIPA’s perspective it is far better to see fleet reductions managed with older pilots stepping out on their own terms, rather than younger pilots being made redundant compulsorily.”

It is the first time Qantas has offered pilots voluntary redundancy.

In recent years, the airline has allowed pilots to take leave without pay and work for other carriers such as Jetstar or Emirates as a way of dealing with having excess pilots.

Safe, who is a Qantas Boeing 737 pilot, said AIPA had commenced a survey of its members and would present their views to the company during negotiations.

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“We will be pushing for a figure that we believe will attract sufficient interest within the limits of what is financially reasonable and possible,” Safe said.

“Otherwise the process is wasted.”

Qantas planned to retire its remaining 14 Boeing 767 aircraft by March 2015, according the airline’s presentation to the Macquarie Australia conference on May 8.

In addition, three Boeing 747s were also due to leave the fleet by December, with a further three to go by early 2016.

“With the number of these aircraft reducing significantly over the next few years the simple fact is that we need fewer pilots,” Qantas chief pilot Captain Dick Tobiano said in a statement.

“As well as a voluntary redundancy program we will also continue to direct accrued leave and facilitate leave without pay to assist in managing the surplus.”

The redundancies are part of the 5,000 jobs the airline is cutting between now and 2017.

It was understood Qantas was targeting about 100 voluntary redundancies from the pool of about 550 pilots who fly the 767 and 747, as it sought to turnaround a $235 million loss for the six months to December 31, 2013.

A separate voluntary redundancy process was already underway for cabin crew.

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11 Comments

  • Red Barron

    says:

    The CEO and the Board should look at taking one as well.

  • Raymond

    says:

    … except that the CEO and Board’s ‘offer’ shouldn’t be voluntary…

  • Randle

    says:

    What is qantas going to do to replace the packed 763’s on the golden triangle?

  • Red Barron

    says:

    Regurgitate A330-200 from Jetstar with a new Paintjob and cabin refresh. Still don’t know why you wouldn’t put at least the first 2 or 3 of the first B787’s and promote the hell out of it on this run to give them an edge over Virgin. I for one would go looking for the B787 aircraft when I book a flight between Brisbane/Sydney next week.

    I guess the compensation for the 787’s from Boeing to Qantas was too good to refuse…..

  • Grant McHerron

    says:

    767s are supposed to be replaced with the A330s that Jetstar’s been using (now that those 787s are coming on line).

    While the A330s are old enough that they’ve reached a costlier maintenance level than when they were with JQ, they’re still a lot cheaper to operate than the 767s

  • Reverend

    says:

    i am hoping Qantas in time will get rid of A330 and A380 because they are so big and buy boeing 787-9 and boeing 777-9x would do Qantas well

    • australianaviation.com.au

      says:

      I don’t understand why everyone bags the A380. It’s a wonderfully smooth airplane and quiet to fly on, and if used on long-haul routes and if carrying decent load factors, the 380 is as efficient or better than a 777-300ER.

      Cheers

      Andrew

  • Boggles

    says:

    VH-EBR-EBS-EBQ are now in qantas colours from jetstar.most are only 3years old,so pretty new…

  • marc

    says:

    Still raises the question why Q haven’t gone down the all Boeing 737/787/777 path and JS with 320/330s? Bizarre management.

  • Ronaldo

    says:

    1. Can someone please clarify Qantas’ reasoning to send the 787 back to JQ in exchange for JQ’s A332s?

    2. Fleet simplification is a good move. It doesn’t make sense for a struggling airline to operate different aircraft on the same market. The Boeing 737-800s QF has in their domestic network, however, may need a re-fit. With their International Network, I agree with Andrew. The A380 is a beautiful aircraft, and it fits Qantas’ international network well, especially with the ultra-long haul routes like Dallas, London and LAX.

    Personally though, with the retirement of the B767s and B747s, I would have loved to see QF maintain an all B737 and A330 domestic fleet, and an A380/B787 with the occasional A330 International Fleet. Jetstar should have just kept the A330s in their international operations.

  • Ben

    says:

    Andrew,

    No doubt the A380 is a great machine, if you are a major hub carrier like SQ, EK or other Asian/Middle Eastern operators. But ANZ has shown the big twin is a better choice for an end of line carrier down under. In fact QF is the only one left not flying a twin Trans-Pac. The days of (to borrow from Virgin Atlantic) “4 engines 4 long haul” is over.

    Could they work a deal with EK to swap out the A380’s with 777’s? That would be an interesting development!

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