Jetstar to cut hundreds of flights in January ahead of strike action

| 16.12,19. 05:17 PM |

Jetstar to cut hundreds of flights in January ahead of strike action

Jetstar is cutting 10 per cent of its domestic flights in January. (AAP)

Jetstar is cutting 10 per cent of its domestic flights in January as the budget airline continues to fight with two unions over pay and conditions.
Ground crew represented by the Transport Workers Union and the Australian Federation of Air Pilots started industrial action on Friday and continued over the weekend.
Baggage handlers and ramp workers will take protected industrial action again on Thursday and pilots will do low-level work bans until December 20.
The company says proactively reducing its January flight schedules will reduce disruption to passengers, who will be able to reschedule flights or get refunds.
Flights hit will mostly be high-frequency routes to enable as much passenger flexibility as possible.
"Doing this well in advance will significantly reduce disruption in what is the airline's busiest month of the year, compared to the three to five working days notice the union is required to give of any industrial action," the airline said in a statement.
"Customers already booked on these flights will be contacted in coming days to be offered alternatives, including full refunds."
Jetstar says the industrial action into January combined with the December action is costing the company about $20 million to $25 million.
The airline says the pay claims by the TWU and AFAP are "unsustainable".
Jetstar says it is offering staff a three per cent pay rise, but the TWU has a claim for more rest breaks, a guaranteed 12-hour break between shifts, guaranteed 30 hours a week and annual wage increases of four per cent.
"We are appalled that rather than even discussing what their offer is Jetstar are pulling the plug on passengers' holiday plans. They are trying to strong-arm and bully their way into forcing low paid workers to continue enduring poverty wages. We don't want to see disruption and we want to negotiate. Jetstar are being entirely unreasonable in this process," TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said it a statement.
"With the money Jetstar is spending on cancelling flights and upsetting holiday plans it could have solved this issue by now."
The AFAP is pursuing a three per cent annual increase and has attacked Jetstar's claims pilots want an effective 15 per cent jump.
Amid the pay stoush, Jetstar also say it is reviewing the viability of longer-haul international flights by its 787-8 fleet, which includes trips to Honolulu.
A final decision on the flights is expected in March 2020.


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