Press: Qantas staff may buy shares with pilots

Unions representing Qantas Airways staff will consider a plan to join the pilots in buying a stake in the airline as part of an attempt to block an AUS$11.1 billion takeover by a Macquarie Bank-led consortium, the Sydney Morning Herald reported, citing union sources. It said about 12 unions will discuss the idea of buying a “blocking stake” as one option for dealing with the planned sale which is conditional on 90 pct acceptance, a level needed to acquire all outstanding shares.

The Australian and International Pilots Association has said its 2,500 members will invest 50,000 aud each to buy 1 pct of the airline if it will help stop a compulsory acquisition.

The newspaper said unions will encourage people to hold on to their stocks instead of accepting the 5.60 aud-per-share offer, because it fears the Airline Partners Australia consortium will cut jobs and send work offshore.

Qantas was voted Australasia’s Leading Airline at this year’s World Travel Awards.