QANTAS Pilots Concerned about Potential Recruitment of Foreign Labour

QANTAS Pilots Concerned about Potential Recruitment of Foreign Labour

The Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) is deeply concerned about moves by Qantas to recruit a large number of pilots overseas.

In response to an article headlined “Qantas Plea For Foreign Pilots,” published today in The Australian, AIPA President, Captain Murray Butt said the Association does not accept the premise that Australian pilots are not available to fill the positions of pilot and simulator instructors.

“There is no evidence that Qantas, Eastern, Sunstate or Network have tested the market with increased salary packages to see if Australian pilots either currently residing in Australia or working overseas are available to fill the positions,” Capt Butt said.

“Qantas should be offering salary packages that are attractive to Australian pilots. The airline needs to set salaries at a level where it is worthwhile moving more experienced crew such as second officers with 13,000 hours experience into these entities, without taking a huge pay drop.”

“Given the Reserve Bank Governor, Philip Lowe’s comments on employer resistant to wages growth, every Australian should be watching the Turnbull Governments reaction to this request.”

“If corporate Australia’s answer to upward pressure on wages growth is to sell off Australian residency, it’s hard to envisage any real wage growth in Australia in the coming years.”

Capt Butt said the shortage of pilots within the Qantas Group was a product of the airline’s own making.

“Qantas has manipulated the labour market through varying entities and low-cost carriers and set wages in these entities at such low rates, they are no longer competitive on the world market.”

“Qantas is now seeking to supplement these wage rates by offering the inducement of Australian residency.”

“As a result, low wages and the high cost of training has resulted in aviation no longer holding the attraction it once did for younger Australians.”

Capt Butt said Australia ran the risk of becoming a net importer of aviation professionals after years of being a net exporter.

Media contact John Hill 0412197079