For the first time in more than 40 years Qantas will make pilots redundant in an effort to save money.
The airline’s broader plan to cut 5000 jobs includes offering captains and first officers of older 767 and 747 aircraft to apply for voluntary redundancies.
According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, on Tuesday Qantas asked these pilots to submit their applications.
The SMH report details an internal memo in which Chief Pilot Dick Tobiano said the airline had been left with a “pilot surplus” it was unable to manage.
Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) president Nathan Safe said his organisation would work with the airline to negotiate redundancy packages.
“We are going to be pushing for a package that isn’t a low-ball offer,” Mr Safe said.
“Ultimately we think it is cheaper to make people retire out of the top than to compulsory retire from the bottom.”
In February, Qantas announced that all 767s will exit the fleet by the first quarter of 2015 and remaining 15 747s will be retired by the first half of 2016.