Union fury as Qantas adds Finnish aircraft to fleet
The Australian and International Pilots Association has blasted a Qantas decision to wet lease two Finnair aircraft.
The national carrier announced it would be restoring its capacity in-line with a broader aviation industry recovery but the decision to lease two Airbus A330s from Finland has outraged the pilot's union.
"Qantas' decision to wet lease (an arrangement covering aircraft hire, flight crew and sometimes fuel) two Finnair aircraft is shocking, bitterly disappointing and could have been avoided with more effective management decisions," AIPA president Tony Lucas said.
The Finnair aircraft and crews would be used on Qantas' Sydney to Singapore and Sydney to Bangkok routes.
He said using another carrier to operate Qantas' routes was significantly more expensive than operating the services within the airline.
"This is a sad day for our great airline."
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the airline was boosting its international capacity with extra flights, more aircraft and new routes.
"While airlines globally are working to restore capacity to meet demand, there is still a mismatch between supply and demand for international flying," Mr Joyce said on Friday.
"But with more of our aircraft back in the air, new 787s joining our fleet and our contract with Finnair, we've got more seats for our customers and more opportunity for Qantas crew as we increase our own flying."
Qantas projected its international capacity to grow to 100 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by 2024 and expected to employ another 300 staff by the end of the year.
Qantas is appealing two Federal Court rulings in the High Court, which found the outsourcing of baggage handlers, cleaners and ground staff during the COVID-19 pandemic was illegal.
A judgment is not expected to be handed down for some months after the hearings.
Mr Joyce will step down as Qantas chief executive in November after 15 years at the helm.