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Striking Network Aviation pilots ask to meet QantasLink boss

written by Jake Nelson | February 19, 2024

VH-NHY was the first Network Aviation Fokker 100 to be repainted in QantasLink livery. (Image: Qantas)

Pilots at Qantas subsidiary Network Aviation have extended rolling strikes for another day amid calls for QantasLink’s new CEO to meet with the union.

The Australian Federation of Air Pilots, which last week announced work stoppages would continue for six days, voted for an extra day of industrial action to start a minute past midnight on Thursday 22 February. More than 90 per cent of Network pilots are members of AFAP.

“At a hugely well-attended members meeting on Friday, the clear sentiment was that Network pilots still feel as though they are treated as second-class citizens within the Qantas group,” said Chris Aikens, a senior industrial officer at AFAP.

“Ongoing and rolling protected industrial action will continue unless this changes.”

Qantas has responded to the strike at Network, which operates its FIFO and scheduled QantasLink services in WA, by flying in 737s and charter aircraft from other airlines.


According to Aikens, the striking pilots are looking to meet with new QantasLink CEO Rachel Yangoyan while she is in Perth, and have invited her to talk with them preferably on Monday.

“The members were agreed that, if the company was willing to come to the meeting with a potential resolution to the ongoing dispute, then serious consideration will be given to cancelling this, and any future, stop work action,” said Aiken.

“We sincerely hope that this meeting between the new QantasLink CEO and the pilots on Monday does go ahead.

“The pilots are keen to express their genuine frustration to her in person while she is in Perth and hope she can bring something new to the table that shows the value she places on these pilots.”

Qantas has denied “walking away” from negotiations and has taken an intractable bargaining application to the Fair Work Commission in the hopes of expediting an end to the impasse.

According to Network Aviation chief operating officer Trevor Worgan, further contingency plans are in place should the strike action persist.

“We’ve been working to reach a new agreement for 18 months and want our pilots to start receiving pay increases of more than 25 per cent that we have offered. We’ve been clear that we cannot offer more,” he said.

Qantas has been contacted for comment.

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