Friday, 27 May 2011

Qantas says pilot demands putting airline at risk


A damaging industrial row between Australian airline Qantas and its pilots could threaten the future of the carrier, chief executive Alan Joyce said.

International pilots on the "Flying Kangaroo" are poised to take their first strike action in 45 years after negotiations on pay and conditions with management broke down last week.

Joyce told ABC television he would not be giving in to all demands from the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) which Qantas estimates would cost more than Aus$300 million (US$320 million).

"We believe that some of the demands that are being put on the table are outrageous," Joyce said late Thursday, adding that they could result in job losses within the company if implemented.

"There are certain demands I cannot concede to because it will endanger the survival of the company into the long run."

Asked whether the airline's future was at risk due to the union action, Joyce replied: "It is at that stage. Our international business is losing money. Our international business, if these demands are met, will go backwards even further."

Joyce said the union's threat of industrial action could also potentially damage the Qantas brand.

"Unfortunately, this is the way some of these rogue union leaders think," he said. "It's not good for their members, it's not good for employees, it's not good for our customers and we're going to have to stand up to them."

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