After more than 100 flights were cancelled earlier this week, Jetstar baggage handlers and certain ground staff will once again walk off the job as a result of ongoing pay dispute strikes.
On Thursday, up to 250 workers across the country will stop work, resulting in more disruptions for passengers who planned to fly with the airline.
In preparation, Jetstar decided to proactively cancel around 28 flights across Thursday, with passengers already being notified of the changes with majority placed on new flights within four hours of their original departure time.
The times for strikes on Thursday 19th December are:
This round of strikes follows a woeful week for the airline, who on Monday announced they would need to cancel 10 per cent of flights in January as a result of the ongoing wage disputes.
Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans said in a statement that the cost of the disruptions to the airline would amount to between $20 million and $25 million, and that in response to the ongoing costs, Jetstar would consider selling off three long-haul aircraft within its fleet.
“Industrial action doesn’t change the fact the wage claims being made by the TWU and AFAP are unsustainable,” he said.
“In the case of the pilots, the union is asking for what amounts to a 15 per cent wage increase in the first year in a group where captains earn more than $300,000 a year. For some groups, their salaries would increase by $60,000. We can’t agree to that.
“There’s no doubt that industrial action is expensive and frustrating, but we have to hold the line on costs or it threatens the long term sustainability of our business.
“We apologise to the customers whose plans have been caught up in what the unions are doing.”
Since Friday, the Australian Federation of Air Pilots’ Jetstar pilots stopped work for four hours on Sunday, resulting in 54 cancelled flights as union staff continued strikes around Australia.
A similar strike on Saturday saw Jetstar proactively cancel more than 40 flights.
The disruption comes after the budget airline refused demands for annual pay increases, minimum job hours and safety improvements.
Jetstar staff were requesting an annual 4 per cent pay rise, more rest breaks, a guaranteed 12-hour break between shifts and 30 hour working weeks.
Meanwhile, the Australian Federation of Air Pilots has called for a 3 per cent annual wage rise for pilots and better roster conditions.