Jetstar planes on the tarmac.
Jetstar planes on the tarmac.

Jetstar travellers stranded as pilots strike

JETSTAR will cancel 90 flights across the country this weekend as pilots walk off the job over a pay dispute.

About a fifth of the airlines services will be impacted as staff work to get passengers on planes around the strike action.

All Jetstar customers will be able to claim a refund for flights booked from December 13 to 20.

RELATED: MAYHEM AT AIRPORTS AS 24 FLIGHTS CANCELLED, 40 DELAYED

On average, the company runs about 370 flights per day.

Jetstar Group chief executive Gareth Evans said the strike was unjustified.

"It is cynically timed to hurt the travelling public at the busiest time of the year," he said.

"Right now we are proactively contacting customers to inform them of their options."

Mr Evans said the Australian Federation of Air Pilots wanted a deal that would see their pay increase by 15 per cent in its first year.

"To do that would put unsustainable upward pressure on the low fares that have been the core of Jetstar since its inception," he said.

"(It would) also call into question future investment in the business.

"On average a captain at Jetstar earns over $300,000 a year."

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Jetstar has offered an agreement that they believed would increase wages by 3 per cent.

The company will cancel 44 flights on Saturday and 46 on Sunday, with some Friday services impacted by work stoppages from baggage handlers and ground crew.

About 80 per cent of flights will operate as scheduled, with some flights to be upgraded to larger planes and Qantas will also provide some replacement services.

Members of the Transport Workers Union have begin their own protected industrial action with Jetstar over the same period.

kieran.rooney@news.com.au



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