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Pilot union cancels new Qantas FIFO strike in WA

written by Adam Thorn | October 23, 2023

A QantasLink A320-200, operated by Network Aviation.

Qantas FIFO pilots in WA have called off a second strike set for Tuesday as they negotiate a new deal over pay.

The Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) has also given an assurance no further industrial action will occur until at least Friday.

It follows a one-day work stoppage earlier this month affecting the Flying Kangaroo’s subsidiary Network Aviation, which grounded half of its flights within the state. The move forced the wider Qantas Group to redeploy 737s and turn to other charter operators to fill the gap.

In a statement released on Friday, the union’s senior industrial officer, Chris Aikens, said, “If the company’s management is serious, it will spend next week focusing on listening and responding to its pilots to allow a resolution to be reached.

“However, if Qantas does not take this opportunity to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both parties, then we have no other option but to escalate with further protected industrial action.”


Network Aviation operates more than 300 weekly flights, with regular services from Perth Airport and charter flights for mining, corporates, and emergency freight.

The previous strike action saw more than 99 per cent of AFAP pilot members vote to take industrial action. In total, 209 of the 211 AFAP members eligible to participate submitted a vote.

Network Aviation pilots are currently paid under a 2016 agreement that expired three years ago and includes starting salaries of $175,000 for captains and $107,000 for first officers.

A new deal, rejected by pilots, would see an immediate pay rise of up to 20 per cent in the first year, followed by an annual increase of 3 per cent a year and sign-on bonuses of $7,000.

This, though, is partly funded by offsets as part of the wages policy of the larger Qantas Group.

Network Aviation chief operating officer Trevor Worgan previously attacked the union for going ahead with the strike.

“Our offer provides Network Aviation pilots up to 25 per cent pay increases immediately and other benefits, but the union is demanding unreasonable increases of more than 50 per cent,” said Worgan.

“It’s disappointing that they are continuing with their disruptive strike action, which has been timed to hurt travellers during the busy school holiday period.

“We’ve protected as much flying as we possibly can, but unfortunately, our contingency options can only cover part of our regular schedule and we have had to cancel dozens of flights.”

Network Aviation was bought by Qantas in 2010 and operates a fleet of more than 30 aircraft.

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