A threatened industrial dispute with Qantas long-haul flight attendants which would have grounded the airline’s international flights has been averted with 85 percent of cabin crew supporting a new deal.
According to Qantas, the agreement removes a number of legacy rostering practices, where crew is effectively limited to working on Airbus A330s only, or on Airbus A380s and Boeing 787s only.
Qantas said the new agreement will enable all crew to be trained to work across all three wide-body aircraft types, which significantly broadens the different destinations crew can travel to and increases operational flexibility for Qantas.
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The airline said that a related complexity of the current agreement is that it has two different rostering systems, which have been rationalized to one that already applies to 80 percent of the crew.
The agreement which includes bonuses and a pay rise will now be sent to the Fair Work Commission for approval.
A Qantas spokesperson said that “this outcome brings us closer to much-needed certainty for our Long-Haul Cabin Crew and for Qantas as we continue to rebuild our international operations.
“Once approved by the Fair Work Commission, the agreement will ensure we have the operational flexibility to respond to the post-COVID operating environment.
“While all of the signs are positive, there is definitely work to do to rebuild demand and navigate ongoing border uncertainty in many of our overseas destinations.
“We’re expecting to be flying at 45 percent of our pre-COVID capacity by the middle of the year and continue to look at new destinations to get more of our aircraft and people back in the air as we rebuild our network.’’