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Old 07-27-2006, 06:52 PM   #1  
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Default Another pay for training-down under

Want to fly for us? That's $33,150, please
Scott Rochfort
July 28, 2006

FIRST there was the $89 interview charge for flight attendants applying for a job at Jetstar International. Now pilots applying to Jetstar's long-haul arm will have to fork out $150 for an interview and $33,000 to train to fly the airline's Airbus 330-200s.
The Qantas offshoot, which plans to launch flights to Asia in November, said charging pilots for training was "standard".

Jetstar's chief executive, Alan Joyce, said numerous low-cost airlines around the world - including Virgin Blue and Ryanair - required pilots to have previous training to use their aircraft, while other airlines tied pilots to a bond if they received training.

"We've negotiated training at these various simulator centres for very low rates," Mr Joyce said. "We give [pilots] those rates and they pay it and if they decide they want to go overseas, we haven't incurred a huge amount of costs associated with training and we don't have the complexity of tying people into bonds."

Mr Joyce said Qantas did not charge its pilots to train because - unlike Jetstar - it had a cadet pilot program. Jetstar will use Qantas simulators to train its pilots.

Jetstar said it had received 1000 applications for long-range pilot jobs, largely from its pool of domestic pilots and Australian pilots working for overseas carriers. Mr Joyce said Jetstar's pay rates were "realistic" compared with the higher rates offered by its parent, Qantas, which were "not right".

"They are overpaid. They are not competitive," Mr Joyce said.

The $180,000 annual salary of a Jetstar A330 captain is about $100,000 less than a Qantas captain receives. Jetstar co-pilots will be paid about $100,000 a year.

Mr Joyce said Jetstar's rates of pay were in line with several Asian airlines and "a number of North American carriers that have gone into chapter 11 [bankruptcy]". US Airways was one example.

Low labour costs are the backbone of Jetstar's plans to have a 40 per cent lower cost base than Qantas, and in turn offer much lower fares into Asia.

Jetstar has rejected calls by the Australian International Pilots Association for experienced Qantas pilots to fly its A330s.

Qantas will have four of its A330-200s repainted in Jetstar livery in coming months.

Jetstar has already bypassed the pilots' association in striking a collective agreement with its pilots. The association's general manager, Peter Somerville, said Jetstar's lower wages and policy of charging training for its pilots undermined the culture of goodwill pilots traditionally feel for the airline they work for.

"The legacy carriers take a longer-term view. Jetstar's view is really get in, make a profit and get out," Mr Somerville said.

Jetstar also announced it sold 68,000 tickets to Asia and 14,000 domestic tickets on the first day it put international tickets up for sale on its website. The airline said this was a record.
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:06 PM   #2  
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I think what p*sses me off the most about that is the fact that the company sounds proud of driving down wages.
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:40 PM   #3  
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Originally Posted by jdsavage
I think what p*sses me off the most about that is the fact that the company sounds proud of driving down wages.
Perhaps, but why are they driving them down? Ultimately that rests on what's going on here in the US...

Like it or not, the US airlines set much of the standards for pay in the industry. With pilots here working for less, we'll see more and more of it to come.
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Old 07-27-2006, 09:27 PM   #4  
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As a pilot with the mainline arm of Jetstar (ie parent company Qantas),I am very concerned with their attempts to drive our conditions and salary down,using US carriers as an example of the low wages that are now the industry norm post 9/11.Can someone over there in the states tell me approximate salary for a widebody international command ie A330.
Jetstar pilots signed off on $180,000pa Australian which is about $135,000US dollars.
Is this really the standard now?
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Old 07-28-2006, 12:11 AM   #5  
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Originally Posted by Captainsouth
Jetstar pilots signed off on $180,000pa Australian which is about $135,000US dollars. Is this really the standard now?
USAirways flies the A330 on International routes and Capt's are paid $160 USD/hr. For a reserve Capt. the monthly guarantee is 72 hours, which would yield about $138,000 USD annually.

So while your figures "could" be correct, it's very unlikely that a pilot is paid the minimum every month for a year. When you consider a schedule holder (line holder) is flying around 85 hours per month, $135,000USD is about 10% too low compared to the US counterparts.

Lower wages are standard now in the US, although I'd expect that wages will rise as all the give-backs help yield sustained profits.
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