AIPA: Qantas deal to hire foreign pilots is a ‘smoke screen’ to keep salaries low

    Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) stated (08-Aug-2018) it does not agree that the “purported pilot shortage in Australia is sufficient to warrant an agreement struck between Qantas and the Australian Federal Government to relax restrictions on skilled work visas”. AIPA president Murray Butt said pilots want the government to produce the evidence used to assess the purported skill shortage. Mr Butt said AIPA rejected the assertion that there are insufficient numbers of capable Australian candidates to fill the positions. Captain Butt said Qantas admitted in a submission to the government that there were suitable candidates within Australia, but not enough candidates to meet expected needs and flying standards. Mr Butt stated Qantas “should not have been granted a special deal to hire foreign pilots before properly testing the labour market” and if there is a real pilot shortage of Australian applicants, this has “come about because the aviation employers have sat on their hands and done nothing to address the impending supply side problem”. AIPA’s view is that “this is little more than a smoke screen for Qantas to make sure it keeps pilot salaries as low as possible”. [more – original PR]