Life Travel Jetstar cancels 90 flights ahead of weekend strikes

Jetstar cancels 90 flights ahead of weekend strikes

jetstar flights cancelled
Jetstar has announced new cheap flights to jumpstart domestic tourism. Picture: AAP Photo: Getty
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Budget airline Jetstar will cancel 90 flights this weekend as baggage handlers, ground crew and pilots walk off the job across Australia.

Industrial action planned for Friday and the weekend comes after Jetstar rejected workers’ demands for pay increases, minimum hours on the job and safety improvements.

The airline said it would consolidate services, use bigger aircraft and change flight times to try to avoid disruptions for passengers. Extra services would also be operated by Qantas and QantasLink.

Overall, Jetstar will cancel 44 services on Saturday, December 14, and 46 on Sunday, December 15.

“We expect to get 95 per cent of our customers on their way on the same day,” the company said on Wednesday.

The planned delays come just a day after the budget airline cancelled dozens of flights and many more were delayed for hours due to an Australia-wide IT outage.

Jetstar staff will walk off the job on Friday at Sydney, Melbourne’s Tullamarine and Avalon airports, as well as Brisbane, Cairns and Adelaide airports.

The Australian Federation of Air Pilots, which represents Jetstar pilots, said its members would not fly from their home bases in two four-hour windows on Saturday and Sunday.

AFAP members (80% of Jetstar pilots) will take protected industrial action for the first time since the airline was…

Posted by AFAP – Australian Federation of Air Pilots on Monday, December 9, 2019

Jetstar also faces industrial action by ground staff after negotiations with the Transport Workers Union broke down after the airline rejected worker demands including more rest breaks, a guaranteed 12-hour break between shifts and a guaranteed 30 hours a week of work.

Speaking alongside workers at Sydney Airport on Tuesday, TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said the budget airline needed to explain why it had rejected the “modest” requests.

“Jetstar won’t listen when these workers say to them that they simply can’t survive on 20 hours of work a week … when they make sure Jetstar knows they are on the lowest pay in the industry,” Mr Kaine said.

“They are finding it harder and harder to support their families and Jetstar won’t listen when these workers repeatedly say that their jobs are not safe because there are too few workers lugging around thousands and thousands of kilos of baggage and having to service overlapping aircraft.”

In a statement released last week, Jetstar chief executive Gareth Evans said strong arm tactics from the TWU would not change the airline’s stance.

He said the union’s demands would put “significant pressure” on the low fares the airline’s customers relied on and force it to review its investment in new aircraft, technology and destinations.

The airline will start contacting affecting customers from Wednesday. Passengers can also request refunds for affected flights.

There is expected to be minimal impact on Jetstar’s international flights.

-with AAP

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