Fair Work Australia has backed Qantas against an Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) dispute over the airlines new system of maintenance.
Approved by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), the implementation of the new system known as ‘maintenance on demand’ for Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A330 aircraft operating on domestic routes commenced this week.
Ignoring the CASA approval, the ALAEA had instructed its members to continue conducting pre-flight maintenance checks on every flight.
The unprotected industrial action has not yet affected any passengers or flights.
Qantas domestic chief executive officer Lyell Strambi dismissed union claims that Qantas failed to follow an internal change management policy by not getting union approval.
Mr Strambi said there was nothing that says unions get veto over any change or that union approval is required.
According to Mr Strambi, aircraft manufacturer guidelines and the new system will bring Qantas in line with other airlines including Jetstar and Virgin Australia.
The CEO commented that the airline’s investment in new aircraft enables a more modern approach to service and maintenance.
“Modern aircraft have sophisticated systems which alert us to mechanical issues meaning engineers don’t need to check the aircraft before every single domestic flight," Mr Strambi said.
Putting safety at the forefront of priorities, Mr Strambi said the airline can improve efficiency by deploying the right people to the right tasks without compromising safety.
The new system will see highly skilled engineers skills used where most needed and qualified, appropriately trained pilots continuing to perform a pre-flight check prior to each flight departure.
As per the CASA-approved system of maintenance, an engineer will be assigned to every aircraft that requires a check performed.
Older B767 and B737-400 Qantas aircraft will continue to have licenced engineers conduct a pre-flight check on all international flights and domestic flights.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W