Britain’s largest airline union has accused Qantas of ignoring the wellbeing of its in-flight crew on its longest continuous flight route launched in March this year.
The British union, Unite, has raised concerns over the health and safety of UK-based crews on the 17-hour long flight between Perth and London.
It has also accused Qantas of ‘anti-union’ tactics in trying to quell Unite’s concerns.
In a statement, the union expresses fears that the 10-person crew does not have enough time between flights to fully wind down and recharge before its average 19-hour duty period.
The union says that the 25-hour rest period before the flight home is not long enough. Adequate time for rest is essential so that the crew “are fully able to complete their safety-critical functions without impairment whilst operating on board an aircraft”, it added.
The union claims the current rest period is likely to result in fatigue.
It says that the airline is trying to dismiss these concerns, with Qantas’ cabin crew UK-based manager, Dannielle Morgan, allegedly claiming it is simply a case of cabin crew taking time to “transition into new flying”.
Ms Morgan also claims that the conversation between Unite and crew members is “unreasonable union activity”, drawing parallels with a previous dispute that saw workers locked out in 2011.
Qantas was quick to allay any concerns over crew wellbeing and passenger safety.
“Making sure our crew have enough rest is important to us and something we’re very used to managing given our experience with ultra-long-haul flying,” a Qantas spokesperson told Travel Weekly.
“These crew had previously been operating around seven hours of flying between London and Dubai, so we’re conscious there is a period of adjustment.
“Safety is always our main priority and we’re committed to working through any concerns constructively.”
Do you ever notice that your cabin crew is tired?