Qantas filed a lawsuit against the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA), alleging that the pilot union had prevented outside hiring for the Airbus A380.
Instead of using one of its own existing pilots while waiting for promotions, Qantas is considering hiring an outside pilot to fly the A380. Because of the rulings, the Qantas Pilot Association objected. A380 is a jumbo airplane that has a capacity of more than 450 people and will also come with additional benefits. So, for any pilot, achieving such a position to fly this huge aircraft will be a significant accomplishment.
On April 26, 2023, the airline filed a lawsuit against the union, and on May 26, 2023, Justice Goodman of Australia’s Federal Court set a hearing date.
Instead of only relying on the ranks of its current Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A330 pilots, Qantas wants to recruit pilots from outside the company for 20 highly sought-after second-officer training places on its A380 aircraft.
The airline claims that internal promotions would result in a void that couldn’t be filled quickly enough, decreasing the pool of pilots available to fulfill the booming demand for overseas flights.
Since the Australian carrier has been reintroducing more of the Super Jumbos in recent months, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that the dispute in the Fair Work petition is about who would be promoted to fly the Airbus A380. While AIPA has noted that Qantas intends to hire outsiders, doing so would violate a practise that has existed for “more than half a century” of promoting internal applicants to fill posts on larger aircraft, in this case, the A380.