February 13, 2020 / 8:36 AM / 4 days ago

Qantas to form new pilot entity if no deal on Sydney-London flights - memo

SINGAPORE, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd told pilots on Thursday that if it could not reach a pay deal soon covering the world’s longest commercial flights from Sydney to London, it would form a lower-cost employment entity, according to an internal memo.

The airline in December selected the Airbus SE A350-1000 as the preferred plane to launch the flights in the first half of 2023, but said an order for up to 12 jets was contingent on reaching a deal with pilots by March.

In an internal memo seen by Reuters, Qantas International head Tino La Spina said the end of March deadline for a pilot vote on the deal was firm.

“Airbus extended the delivery slots one last time once they knew they were the preferred supplier, but they are not willing to continue their exposure beyond that point,” he said. (Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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