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Tigerair Australia pilots vote to take industrial action

Tigerair Australia pilots will impose some work bans between 21 and 24 December over a pay dispute with the carrier, which may result in some flight delays during the lead-up to Christmas.

The Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP), which represents around 75% of Tigerair Australia’s pilots, has filed for protected industrial action that will see pilots refuse to fly aircraft with minor deferred defects, take extended periods before being called in when on standby, and take measures to fly slower and refuse shorter flightpaths.

AFAP says it has been pushing for a 2.5% annual increase in pilots’ pay for two years, but talks with the airline have stalled despite reaching an in-principle agreement in May.

That agreement headed off a similar industrial action campaign under which pilots would have only worked to their rosters and also refuse to fly aircraft with minor defects.

“After two years of bargaining, the decision to take protected industrial action was not made lightly,” says AFAP industrial officer James Lauchland.

“The industrial action will not be conducted on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, as the federation’s members want to ensure passengers can travel to be with their families and friends.”

The union adds that the action may be called off if the carrier makes a “reasonable offer” to its pilot body before 21 December.

Tigerair Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Virgin Australia that operates on 12 domestic routes with a fleet of four Boeing 737-800s and 11 Airbus A320s.

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