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With the deadline for the aircraft order looming, Qantas has informed pilots a decision is needed and they are prepared to go around the union to get it.

A letter written by Qantas International CEO Tino La Spina said if the Australian and International Pilots Association would not endorse the deal they were proposing, pilots would be asked directly to vote early next month.

He said Airbus had already extended the deadline for a firm A350-1000 order until March 31 and the pilots’ agreement was needed before then as the final piece of the Project Sunrise business case.

“We have informed AIPA (and are now informing you) that if we are unable to secure a new long-haul agreement with our pilots that meets the Sunrise investment case within Airbus’ time frame, we will be left with no viable alternative but to have Sunrise flying performed by a new employment entity that can provide the cost base we need for this important business opportunity,” said Mr La Spina’s letter to the pilots.

“To be absolutely clear, this is not our preferred option. And we know that flagging this will not be well received by many of you. But we want to make sure you have all relevant information when you are weighing a decision on EBA10.”

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**This article has been reproduced here with permission from the author, Robyn Ironside, Aviation Writer for The Australian**