Source: James Bourke via aeronauticsonline.com
Jetstar (JQ/JST) has canceled 10% of all Australian domestic flights in January 2020, as pilots go on strike, due to wage disputes. Previous tries at closing the deal have failed, with flight cancellations hitting the airline’s revenue by $20 to $25 million Australian dollars.
The low-cost airline has stated that it has an “extensive contingency” to replace workers who were on strike, such as third party baggage and tug operators. They have also stated that flights will be merged with others, with some passengers being redirected onto flights operated by other carriers, such as Jetstar’s parent company, Qantas.
Jetstar currently employes 830 pilots, and 375 ground crew around Australia. Due to the industrial losses, the airline is planning to offset lost money by selling three of its 11 Boeing 787-8 aircraft, which were serving “loss-making and marginal” international routes. The decision to sell the aircraft will be made in the First Quarter of 2020.
The Transport Workers Union (TWU) along with the Australian Federated Pilots Union (AFAP) have been in battle with Jetstar; with each side blaming the other for the poor state-of-affairs the airline is in. Gareth Evans, Jetstar’s Chief Executive, has apologized to the flying public, stating: “There’s no doubt that industrial action is expensive and frustrating, but we have to hold the line on costs or it threatens the long–term sustainability of our business.”
However, the Australian Federation of Air Pilots has hit back at the airline, stating: “Jetstar AFAP-pilots have agreed on a 3 percent wage increase. That’s it, nothing more, nothing less. The ball is very much in Jetstar’s court. They need to come back to the table, which they unilaterally left, and start negotiating in good faith.”
The Transport Workers Union has also highlighted the inaction by Jetstar, and were only trying to increase pay for baggage handlers, who were “struggling to pay bills and provide for their families.”
Image Courtesy of Robert Frola/Wikimedia Commons.