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Tuesday 29th of July 2014

Aussie air passengers face Easter travel chaos

    Thousands of Australian air passengers who plan to fly over the Easter peak period are likely to face travel chaos as professional engineers working for Jetstar and Qantas supported a series of work bans.

    At meetings held today, members of the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia (APESMA) union voted to extend overtime bans through the four-day break beginning on Friday. The engineers union said that it could not guarantee that all flights would run as scheduled over the Easter break.

    Members of the union are concerned about the overnight and weekend assignment of Qantas managers who cover the positions of specialist senior professional engineers.

    APESMA senior industrial officer Alison Rose said that union would like to apologise in advance to the travelling public in if any delays occur, but that Qantas managers had forced this situation by failing to manage its workforce. The professional engineers are responsible for servicing and maintaining the entire fleet of Qantas and its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar.

    Qantas has responded by saying that the threat of delays was hollow because professional engineers did not work at weekends or on public holidays. There would be little impact as a result of industrial action in the airline’s passengers travelling over Easter, according to a spokeswoman for Qantas.

    The union also said that another concern was the substitute managers which had little or no experience with Qantas’ fleet of double-decker superjumbo Airbus A380 jets.

    According to the union, the A380 has a common, recurring problem of faulty fuel gauges and the managers have little experience with that type of aircraft and picking up on that potentially dangerous situation.

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