Qantas A380. Courtesy, Qantas

Qantas (QF) and the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Assn. (ALAEA) have finally reached an agreement, bringing to a close one of the most bitter disputes in Australian aviation history (ATW Daily News, Nov. 22).

The deal, which has been submitted to Fair Work Australia, gives QF the flexibility to have heavy maintenance work performed overseas for aircraft such as the Airbus A380.

Another key win for QF is the adoption of new, updated maintenance regulations without restriction  that have been introduced by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority, bringing the country into line with other nations.

Engineers will get a 3% pay increase, which is on par with other QF staff. ALAEA federal secretary Steve Purvinas said engineers had locked in job security despite missing out on A380 work.

“The main issue all along for us was job security and what we wanted was an A380 hangar in this country. We’ve missed out on that,” said Purvinas. “But what we have done is we’ve secured all of our existing job functions in a job security clause, which is good news for our members.”

QF said the agreement was a good deal.

“It does not include any of the claims that would have restricted Qantas in making the changes needed to compete in the global aviation industry,” said a QF spokesperson.

Australia’s transport minister Anthony Albanese and workplace relations minister Bill Shorten said the truce was good news for the traveling public.

“The government is hopeful that transport workers and pilots can now come to an agreement with Qantas,” the ministers said in a joint statement Monday.