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The AFAP has advised Qantas of a further 24-hour stoppage to be taken on Monday 4 March.

Revealed through an Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) survey, pilots flying for QantasLink and Network Aviation have raised concerns about the local management at Network Aviation with both Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson and with the aviation industry regulator. 

Three quarters of AFAP’s members at the Qantas subsidiary participated in the recent survey and two results are especially concerning.

  • Almost 85% of respondents did not agree that Network management “actively and adequately address Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) issues*”
  • More than 75% of respondents did not have confidence in the Chief Pilot

The full results can be viewed via this link.

The survey results reinforce why pilots were clearly uncomfortable to attend a ‘Town Hall’ headed up by the local management in whom they have no confidence. All but ten pilots were unwilling to attend the company-hosted meeting [on Monday 19 Feb]. 

By contrast, the AFAP members meeting held on Friday 16 February in Perth was attended by more than half of the entire pilot workforce employed by the Qantas subsidiary in Western Australia to fly for QantasLink (passenger transport) and Network Aviation (charter flights).

“For some time now the level of confidence the pilot group has in their local management in Western Australia has been very low, especially in relation to their governance and oversight of safety related matters,” said senior industrial officer Chris Aikens.

“After many months of deteriorating confidence in Network management, our members asked the AFAP to undertake a short survey to gauge the level of such confidence with the intention of detailing those results to both Qantas and the Civil Aviation safety Authority (CASA) as the federal agency with oversight of aviation safety.”

“The purpose of forwarding these results directly to the Qantas CEO is to request that Ms Hudson take a more in-depth look into the malaise within Network that has seemingly been exacerbated by the actions – or inactions – of local Network management.”

Yesterday, both Qantas and CASA confirmed receiving the AFAP survey results and we now await some indication as to how Qantas intends to address these problems. 

*A fatigue risk management system (FRMS) is a comprehensive strategy that airlines use to reduce the risk of flight accidents due to pilot fatigue.


Further comments attributable to AFAP senior industrial officer Chris Aikens:

“At the most recent AFAP members meeting held in Perth [16 February] – and attended by more than half the 250-strong pilot workforce employed by Network Aviation – most indicated they may soon leave the company to fly for other airlines, including those overseas offering far better pay and conditions.”

“As attracting and retaining pilots becomes even more difficult for Network Aviation, the impact on Qantas and the WA economy will be significant if Qantas fails to address the inequities of treating Network pilots like second-class citizens.”

“Network pilots are paid significantly lower than pilots at other Qantas subsidiaries and comparable airlines.”.

“The AFAP has been genuinely negotiating and trying to reach an agreement with Qantas management, but the company remains unwilling to revisit its inflexible wages policy instituted under the former CEO.”

“With more than 93 per cent of Network pilots being AFAP members, the pilot group is highly engaged and keen to make progress with these negotiations towards a new agreement.”