Qantas is bracing for another news cycle beating as Qantas staff reveal they are worried about the airline’s reputation for safety.
Qantas staff speak out
Workers have told the media that they fear that the airlines’ reputation for safe services may be undermined by the constant delays, cancellations of flights and loss of experienced staff.
A Qantas pilot said that the stress was taking a mental and physical toll on flight crews in an interview that will air on ABC’s current affairs program Four Corners;
“As frustrating as it is for passengers, for pilots it means we’re working a lot harder to keep the flights on schedule,”
“We’re working longer hours. We are red-lining, running at max capacity in a very dynamic, challenging environment. There’s a lot that can go wrong.”
A licensed engineer also told the ABC that scheduling for plane maintenance had become much more disorganised and frantic under the current management of the airline.
“The planned work for the night, we used to get through it, what they planned for us almost every night. Now, the first thing we do is have a look at what work is up to its time limit and has to be done, so the plane can fly the next day.”
Qantas set to experience strike action
The revelation comes on the back of the announcement that ground handlers from Dnata, who are contracted to Qantas and a dozen other carriers, will walk off the job for 24 hours on Monday, September 12 as part of an industrial strike action.
National Secretary for the National Transport Workers Union Michael Kaine, who has been in a war of words with the airline recently (with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce in particular), said that the current pay and conditions were unsustainable for staff careers in the industry.
“We need to rebalance aviation towards good, secure jobs that keep skilled workers in the industry and ensure the safety of the travelling public,” Kaine said.
A spokesperson for Dnata rebuked the assessment made by Mr Kaine, saying the company had offered workers a “highly competitive” pay offer but also needed to ensure its business was financially sustainable.
“We are disappointed that we have been unable to reach an agreement with the bargaining representatives to date,” he said.
What are your thoughts on the current management of Qantas? Are you concerned for the well-being of Australia’s airline? Let us know in the comments…