Tigerair Australia passengers face a weekend of potential flight delays and cancellations after two pilot unions confirmed plans to take protected industrial action over a new employment contract.
The Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFPA), which represents about 75 per cent of Tigerair Australia pilots, said the protected industrial action would commence at 0600 on Friday, May 4 and end at 2359 on Sunday, May 6.
While pilots would still turn up for their rostered shifts, AFAP executive director Simon Lutton said the industrial action involved not working outside a pilot’s published roster, and not operating an aircraft until all allowable defects have been resolved.
Lutton said pilots at the Virgin Australia-owned low-cost carrier (LCC) were “simply looking for a fair deal”.
“After more than 12 months of negotiations, the decision to take protected industrial action was not made lightly,” Lutton said in a statement.
“Tigerair pilots fly the same aircraft as their counterparts at Jetstar, Virgin and Qantas, however this is not reflected in their employment conditions.”
The current agreement is well below industry standards, both in terms of pay and work-life balance. The company is not only refusing to provide basic employment conditions that are standard in the industry, they are also insisting on substantial cuts to conditions to justify salary increases.”
Virgin Independent Pilots Association (VIPA), which also represents some Tigerair Australia pilots, also planned to participate in the protected industrial action, according to a report in Fairfax Media.
Tigerair Australia said in a statement it was currently negotiating a new enterprise agreement with both pilot groups the AFAP and VIPA “in good faith” and looked forward to “reaching a mutually beneficial outcome as soon as possible”.
Further, the airline said it had plans to minimise any disruption to our customers, including re-accommodation onto other Tigerair Australia and Virgin Australia services.
“We will notify customers as soon as possible via SMS/email if there is any disruption. Customers are advised to please plan to arrive for flights as scheduled unless otherwise notified by the airline directly,” Tigerair Australia said in a statement to Australian Aviation on Tuesday.
Tigerair Australia, which at December 31 had a fleet of 14 Airbus A320s and three Boeing 737-800s, flies to 13 domestic destinations.