Qantas pilots strike putting Geraldton flights on hold over ongoing pay dispute

Anna CoxGeraldton Guardian
A QantasLink A320 lifts off from Perth Airport.
Camera IconA QantasLink A320 lifts off from Perth Airport. Credit: Geoffrey Thomas/TheWest

Pilots from Network Aviation have taken industrial action again over an ongoing pay dispute, starting a 24-hour stoppage of all flights in the WA regions including two Geraldton flights.

Pilots from Network Aviation, a subsidiary of Qantas, on Thursday launched a strike against the airline due to an ongoing row over a new bargaining agreement, which has been voted down now three times by pilots.

Two return flights to Geraldton were paused due to the strike, which began at one minute past midnight — it is the second QantasLink strike in four months after pilots walked off the job in early October 2023.

Qantas confirmed the majority of passengers on intrastate and charter flights run by Network Aviation have been accommodated and able to travel on the same day as their booking.

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However the Australian Federation of Air Pilots — which represents 90 per cent of the Network Aviation pilots — warns industrial action could be extended if Qantas is unwilling to negotiate on a number of demands put forward by the pilots.

“Our members deeply regret having to take this protected industrial action but are left with no other option,” said AFAP senior industrial officer Chris Aikens.

“The enterprise agreement expired in 2020 and pilots had their last pay rise in 2019. We have been negotiating in good faith for at least 18 months but the company continues to be inflexible.”

The seven terms and conditions that the pilots have put to the company include two-hour rather than 90 minutes, sign-on from reserve, as is common in the industry and in compliance with the Air Pilots Award 2020.

Pilots also requested starting at 6.00am rather than 4.00am after a day off as for pilots at other Qantas/QantasLink operations and in compliance with the Air Pilots Award 2020.

AFAP also requested 10 rostered days off and overtime be increased using the same formula — as for pilots at other Qantas and QantasLink operations.

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