Never mind the maintenance workers – there
are plenty of them waiting to be trained in China – union-buster Geoff Dixon
might be flying towards stormy weather if he takes on his pilots. The Australian‘s Steve Creedy, reports Dixon wants to pay
Jetstar International pilots about $100K
a year less than the equivalent Qantas pilots for flying the Airbus 330.

The top dollar offered for Jetstar pilots
reportedly is $158K – a figure that Creedy suggests will have Qantas recruiting
Asian pilots rather than Australians.

The problem for taking such a big knife to
pilot costs though is that there is an international shortage of Biggles types.
You can’t just pick up suitably qualified flyboys with ease anymore,
particularly in Asia where aviation growth is heading, well, skywards. All those massive
aircraft orders placed by China
with Boeing and Airbus mean a lot more pilots will be required as well.

The very last thing Qantas or any of its
sub-brands can afford to do is cut corners on pilot standards. First-class
maintenance is considered kinda important, too, in some quarters.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey