Jetstar Pilots’ Strike Cancels Many Flights from 13-15 December 2019

Jetstar Pilots' Strike Cancels 90 Flights from 14-15 December 2019Jetstar has been forced to cancel over 100 flights this weekend due to strike action being taken by the airline’s pilots.

Jetstar will cancel 30 services on Friday 13 December, 44 services on Saturday 14 December, and 46 flights on Sunday 15 December 2019, with most of the cancelled flights on Jetstar’s domestic network. But the airline says that around 80% of flights will operate as scheduled, and they expect 95% of passengers to depart on the same day as originally booked.

There is a full list of cancelled flights on the Jetstar website.

To minimise disruption to passengers during this busy travel period, Jetstar has re-timed some services and will consolidate some flights onto larger aircraft. Qantas and QantasLink will also operate some supplementary services on behalf of Jetstar. (The last time this happened, some Jetstar passengers bound for Hawaii got a lucky upgrade to a Qantas 747.)

The airline is contacting passengers with affected bookings by email or SMS. All Jetstar customers booked to travel from 13 to 20 December may also request a full refund if they no longer wish to travel.

Of the Jetstar pilots that are members of the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP), more than 90% voted in favour of protected industrial action. Actions being taken include a limited number of four-hour work stoppages on 14 and 15 December, as well as bans on working overtime.

Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans said that the strike was “cynically timed to hurt travellers at the busiest travel time of the year”.

But AFAP Executive Director Simon Lutton said that “Jetstar pilots and the AFAP ensure that industrial action will not be taken over Christmas to New Year to protect this holiday period for the travelling public.”

Why are Jetstar pilots striking?

The Australian Federation of Air Pilots has called for strike action due to a pay dispute, among other issues, between Jetstar and its pilots. Jetstar claims that the union is demanding a 15% pay rise for Jetstar pilots, which the airline is unwilling to pay.

Jetstar’s CEO said that granting the pay increase being requested by the union would force the airline to review its investment in new aircraft and destinations.

“We remain committed to reaching a new agreement to support the great work our people do every day, but not any cost. Strong arm action from the AFAP will not change our position on this,” Evans said.

“Again, we say to the union: come to the table with a reasonable offer that is fair, and which also ensures the future of low fares travel for Australians.”

Meanwhile, the AFAP Executive Director said that the decision for Jetstar pilots to strike had not been taken lightly.

“The AFAP is still committed to reaching an agreement and is disappointed that we have had to take this action,” Lutton said.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Jet* pilots considering striking


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]