Response to ABC 730 Report

14 August , 2018 –  730 has made a lot of claims without much context. The reporting on salary figures and length of shifts is misleading, and its simply wrong to say we operate overseas crew on domestic rosters.

They have overlooked standard industry practice around payment of allowances and rostering of crew to deliver a headline.

Is it true that you are only paying your Thai based crew $100 a week?

  • This is a really misleading claim. The figure cited by 730 is based on zero flying hours and is not reflective of the average weekly earnings of our Thai based crew, which is $650.
  • Cabin crew salaries are made up of a base wage plus flying hours and other allowances. This is common to airlines around the world.

The ABC says Thai crews can be rostered up to 17 hours, which can be extended up to 20 hours. They say that leaves them fatigued and not physically fit in case of emergency. How safe is this roster?

  • We take all fatigue reports extremely seriously and have strict fatigue management processes in place, which include rostering limitations, to ensure adequate rest periods.
  • Our rosters for all our crew, including Australian-based crew, are built with an operating limit of 14 hours duty (including two hours to sign on/sign off). In the event of a flight delay, this can be extended to 17 operating hours.

Are Thai based crew operating domestic Jetstar flights?

  • No. The only time overseas-based crew operate between two Australian domestic cities is on a ‘tag flight’, which is an industry term used to describe an international flight that connects in more than one domestic city, such as Adelaide-Darwin-Denpasar. The pilots, cabin crew and the aircraft operate all of these sectors.
  • Overseas based crew operating tag flights complies with Australia’s employment law and Australian visa conditions
  • Many airlines operate tag flights, they are common industry practice worldwide.
  • Approximately 0.5 per cent of Jetstar’s flights are tag flights.

The ABC is reporting that Thai based crew are not trained to the same safety standards as Australian crew – is that correct?

  • All our crew, regardless of where they are based, undertake exactly the same onboard training, attend the same Ground School and recurrent training, and undertake the same onboard procedures.
  • This includes crew based in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Singapore.