SYDNEY - PILOTS working at Australian airline Qantas said they have offered to increase their flying time by 10 per cent in exchange for a greater share of the carrier's record profits.
The airline is one of the most profitable in the world and in August reported that annual net profit had surged 50 per cent to a record A$719.4 million dollars (S$922 million) on the previous year.
'There's a range of productivity options that are on the table for pilots, part of that involves an increase in hours,' general manager of the Australian and International Pilots Association Peter Sommerville said on Friday.
He said while such an arrangement would not always guarantee pilots the same benefits, it would strengthen ties between pilots and the carrier.
'There will be good years and there will be not so good years,' Mr Sommerville said.
'It's not just access potentially to some of those gains, the theme of this is linkage to the future of Qantas to some extent.'
Mr Sommerville said passenger safety would not be compromised by the deal - with staff still adhering to regulations which prevent international pilots from flying more than 900 hours a year.
'We don't go near that limit at the present time so there's plenty of room for that,' he said.
Qantas and unions representing long-haul cabin crew this week hammered out a deal under which the carrier would increase work hours of new staff by 30 per cent while cutting their wages by 25 per cent.
Qantas management has said the move was necessary to remain competitive against foreign flyers such as Emirates and Singapore Airlines. -- AFP