Qantas pilots making unauthorised announcements

Qantas long-haul pilots are beginning industrial action with unauthorised in-flight announcements informing passengers about a union campaign.

The low-key industrial action, beginning on Friday, is the first by long-haul pilots for four decades.

The Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) wants to ensure a Qantas pilot, or a pilot on conditions equal to the Qantas pilot agreement, is in charge of a Qantas flight.

The union has called for pilots flying on Qantas affiliates such as Jetstar and New Zealand-based subsidiary Jetconnect, to receive the same wages and conditions as Qantas pilots.

Otherwise, Qantas should remove its QF airline code from those flights.

From Friday, pilots will make short in-flight announcements about the experience and the skills they provide for Qantas passengers.

Passengers wanting to know more will be pointed to a website.

On a long-haul flight from Sydney to London, the in-flight announcements are likely be heard twice.

The pilots' union has also launched billboards in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, declaring: When you board a Qantas flight, you expect a Qantas pilot.

Qantas said it was disappointed the pilots would disturb passengers with their in-flight industrial pitch.

"Passengers want pilots to provide updates over the PA system on the arrival time, the weather at their destination and important safety information," spokesman Luke Enright said.

"They don't want to hear scripted complaints from the pilots' union about a dispute with management."

Mr Enright said the pilots' union was demanding pay increases and free flights on top of already heavily discounted airfares.

"The claim, if it were ever conceded, would drive up airfares, cost jobs and make Qantas airlines and routes unprofitable," he said.

-AAP

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