Apr 2018

QANTAS is listening? Must have a flying roo loose in the top paddock!

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6 April 2018: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has labelled Qantas’ public promise of ‘listening’ to the people of the mid-west as ‘nonsense’ and laughed off the airline’s recent justification that a pilot shortage is causing the ongoing regional flight fare fiasco.

But the problem stems far deeper than just fluctuating expensive flight fares in regional locations. A current skills shortage of Australian pilots has been forged with local pilots being forced to look overseas for work as a result of poor wage packages in the domestic market.

Mr Katter said it was time for Qantas to stop with the “appearing to be listening” and actually “clean out their ears and listen” to the calls of hundreds of Australian pilots that would come home immediately if given the chance.

“I could probably name 20 or so pilots (maybe even 50 pilots) that are working overseas who would prefer to be living in their homeland Australia, but when the leadership of Qantas comes out of airlines that leave pilots flying for $60-$70k a year, then we have one hell of a problem.

“From being the do-ant of Australia, we now have an airline that has sent mass numbers of aeronautical engineering jobs to Asian countries, in the knowledge that the manuals are written in English and they have the workers sleeping on concrete with blankets at airport baggage terminals.

“What was founded as a service to the inland area for families like my own, who made huge contributions to get it going that they couldn’t afford, they did it because our nation needed air travel and as the founder Hudson Fysh said, ‘our airline is there to service the public, to do that, we may have to make profits’.

“This is now an airline that is driven by the usual gang of suspects, the Cabal of CEOs and aspirational CEOs who are interested in reading their name in the Financial Review about their own personal brilliance, indulging their own proclivities, and paying themselves $25m a year and keeping their other fund managers’ CEOs happy by screwing money off the public and their workers.

“Whatever Qantas once was, it is now the complete opposite, and the tragedy of it is that many of the people they have working with them are people who are still dedicated to the founding aspiration of it.

“It astounds me the logic this company is showing. How can a shortage of pilots keep the prices up through the roof when you’ve got a virtual monopoly? They obviously have a roo loose in the top paddock if they think they can justify that one.”

Contact Details

P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au