Qantas long-haul pilots approve new wage deal

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 31, 2015

An artist's impression of a 787 in Qantas colours. (Boeing)

Qantas has moved a step closer towards a potential Boeing 787-9 order after its long-haul pilots voted in favour of a four-year wage agreement.

The Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) said on Thursday 88 per cent of its 1,300 members voted on the new agreement, with 82 per cent approving the package.

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While the new deal did not significantly change the terms and conditions relating to Qantas’s existing fleet, notwithstanding an 18-month wage freeze followed by an annual three per cent increase, the package did include some new provisions on potential 787 flying.

AIPA president and Qantas pilot Nathan Safe said the enterprise agreement “satisfies a business case for Qantas international to consider purchasing Boeing 787s, with a possible entry into service as early as 2017”.

“The brightest future for the vast majority of our members is provided by an airline that is positioned for sustainable growth,” Safe said in a statement.

The company has about 50 options and purchase rights for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

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Qantas International chief executive Gareth Evans said in June the first 787-9 option was for delivery in late calendar 2017, with the remaining delivery slots spread out over the rest of the decade.

A decision on whether to exercise that first option would be made in the “back half of this year”.

“We’ve got specific pricing, specific delivery slots and the ability to essentially drop and pick up those slots as we desire to do,” Evans told reporters on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association annual general meeting in Miami on June 7.

“If we went with a new aircraft type, I think there would be an element of replacement and growth added in as well.”

Qantas established three criteria that needed to be met before it would consider taking up any of its options and purchase rights for the 787-9, namely Qantas International’s return to sustainable profitability, repaying $1 billion of debt and establishing appropriate staff conditions to ensure the business case for the new aircraft type stacked up.

Safe said the agreement would have to be formally approved at the Fair Work Commission before commencing in mid-August.

The deal with long haul pilots comes after Qantas has managed to secured approval from unions representing engineers, ground staff and short-haul pilots, among others, for new enterprise agreements that included an 18-month pay freeze.

Jetstar has accepted 10 of its 11 787-8s on order, with the final airframe due to arrive by September.

Qantas was expected to report a full year net profit in the vicinity of $600 million when it released its 2014/15 financial results on August 20.

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6 Comments

  • Dave

    says:

    Progress, slowly but surely.
    Would be interesting to hear their strategy for implementating the 787 into their services. What versions will they buy and where will the fly? Will they fully replace the 747 and A330, or will they need more A380s or something else to fill any gaps? And what potential new and innovative things it will allow them to do? We can all have educated guesses, but maybe its a a story for AA to investigate.

  • Predicting a flexible fleet renewal using the 787-9 for replacing the 747’s and A-330’s immediately. Adding a fleet expansion sales proposal to Boeing for consideration with some 787-10’s for a continuation of its Jumbo replacement. No more A-380’s where route flexibility is found with the 787 fleet family.

  • michael jones

    says:

    Sooner Alan Joyce buys 40 of the 787-9 the better he needs them sooner the better

  • Jason

    says:

    A B787 hub out of Perth to satisfy Europe and Asia, what a great idea. Daily Singapore upgrade, and the introduction of near daily Japan, China, London (direct?), KL, Hong Kong, Philippines, Auckland, Mumbai. With the multicultural community in WA plus the fact that the competitors are running multiples on most days, the preference of most would be to fly Q over other options, especially considering the amount of Q Club members.

  • Craigy

    says:

    Qantas has already provided some guidance on fleet planning. Firstly, they have decided that 12 A380s is sufficient for their needs. Second, the 9 B747-400 will remain in the fleet until at least 2020 where they will probably be replaced by B777x aircraft. The initial plan of replacing the Jetstar B788 with B789 and the B788 joining the domestic fleet to replace A332 aircraft is no longer deemed prudent as the fuel savings plus the purchase costs make the A332 cost competitive. So the B788 may stay with Jetstar or if they are replaced by B789, provide new route opportunities for QF international. Given the comments of management recently, I suspect the A380s will start leaving the fleet when they are around 20 years old, replaced with probably the larger version of the B777x.

  • Paul

    says:

    Agree a Perth Dubai and also a Brisbane Dubai with 787/9 would be a good move, with possible onward flights to Frankfurt, as Qantas have traffic rights to Frankfurt, and it appears some European Governments are becoming concerned at the level of capacity of the ME3, which may make it harder for Emirates to get any more flights to some European countries!
    Qantas have a problem though with, 8 A380s still on order, and a large number of 320s!
    The plan to use a lot of those 320s for Jetstar expansion in Asia is not looking so bright!

    So unless they want to pay cancellation penalties, they will have to do a deal with Airbus, reckon the 737 Domestic fleet could end up being replaced by 320/321 Neos.
    Whilst a 777X order is a possibility, once the 747s go, Qantas may well need a 4 engine aeroplane for Johannesburg and Santiago, unless CASA approve 330 minutes ETOPs?

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