Qantas Pilots Accept Pay Deal Airline Free to Buy Dreamliners
30th Jul 2015
Qantas has today cleared the biggest obstacle in purchasing a fleet of new, fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes for its international operation thanks largely to its pilots. Qantas pilots agreed to a 4-year pay agreement, which involves an 18-month pay freeze.
In return, the pilots were promised that the next generation of Dreamliners Qantas has on order will be flown by its long-haul operations. This will help the pilots greatly in their long-term careers.
Of a total of 1300 Qantas pilots, around 82 per cent voted in favour of the agreement.
President of Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) Nathan Safe said the new labour arrangement fulfilled a business case for the Australian airline to consider purchasing the Dreamliners in the "very near future, with a possible entry into service as early as 2017|."
Qantas has an option to buy rights for 50 Boeing 787-9 planes. These will be mostly used as a substitute for the carrier's Boeing 747 jumbos and Airbus A330 jets.
Thanks to a deal made with Boeing, Qantas Airways can take the keys to the first batch of Boeing 787-9s in 2017.
Deal with Pilots Puts Extra Pressure on Qantas
With the pilots accepting the deal, Qantas is now under pressure to buy the Dreamliners as soon as possible. The airline's management is likely to give a green light for this later in 2015.
In an internal statement to the staff, chief Qantas pilot Dick Tobiano said the deal was an important part of building a business case for buying the new planes for Qantas international operations.
Qantas subsidiary Jetstar is due to take the last of its 11 787-8 jets later this year in September. They will be used for international routes to Tokyo, Singapore, Bali and Honolulu.