Australian Aviation Safety Suffers Further Setback

By Aei aircraft Engineers International, PRNE
Monday, December 6, 2010

HOOFDDORP, The Netherlands, December 7, 2010 - AEI (Aircraft Engineers International) is becoming extremely concerned
about the safety image being projected within the Qantas group. In a quite
unprecedented action, a Qantaslink airline (Sunstate), has deducted pay from
over 20 Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers salaries. AEI believe this
decision was taken after their professional judgement determined aircraft
defects needed to be corrected before further flight in order to maintain
required levels of airworthiness and safety. Qantas has claimed that the
reason for deducting the pay was unprotected industrial action, but AEI
disputes this.

AEI offers its unconditional support to the engineers concerned, who
despite incredible commercial pressure ensured that passenger interests were
protected and safety remained paramount.

AEI General Secretary Fred Bruggeman commented, "Punitive action taken
against aviation safety professionals raising legitimate safety issues cannot
be tolerated under any circumstances. Safety may suffer as a result of this
action and this sorry episode will surely cause untold damage to both the
Qantas group and the travelling public's perception of air safety."

AEI has been warning for some time that airline claims of "safety being
paramount" is all too often nothing more than an empty marketing slogan. It
is interesting that the Qantas Group Business Practices document (published
on the Qantas website) commits the group to conducting business to the
"highest levels of ethics and integrity" whilst insisting upon the highest
standards including safety standards from its employees. In fact page seven
claims that Qantas are committed to "providing a workplace that is free from
discrimination, harassment and bullying."

Mr Bruggeman continued, "The evidence published in this case is both
clear and shocking. It highlights an incredible level of arrogance within
management circles and raises genuine concerns about the sincerity of the
Qantas group to adhere to their own procedures and ensure that safety, rather
than profit, remains paramount. AEI calls on the Qantas Chief Executive
Officer, Alan Joyce to intervene personally and bring what AEI believes to be
intimidation of safety professionals to an immediate end."

More details of the Qantaslink actions can be found at:

(Due to the length of this URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste
this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field. Remove the
space if one exists.)

Mr. Fred Bruggeman, Mobile: +31-6-55930175, sg at

will not be displayed