THE no-frills Qantas subsidiary Jetstar has mastered the art of cost-cutting to the point that it is charging would-be international flight attendants $89 for a job interview. And that does not cover the cost of the medical that follows if the interview is a success.
Four months before the launch of Jetstar International services to Asia, the airline has also refused to rule out becoming the first Qantas subsidiary to embrace the Howard Government's new industrial relations laws.
A Jetstar spokesman, Simon Westaway, said the airline had already received 1000 "expressions of interest" for the 240 long-haul crew jobs being offered.
Although the jobs were advertised last weekend, Mr Westaway said Jetstar was yet to decide what work agreements the crews would be on.
While Jetstar's domestic arm is negotiating a collective agreement with its 550 crew, there are suspicions the airline could bypass unions and draft its own Australian workplace agreements for its long-haul crews.
Unions fear those crews could earn 40 per cent less than their Qantas counterparts. Jetstar has also confirmed it will hire crews from the Asian nations it will fly to. The airline's Asian destinations include Bali, Ho Chi Minh City, Phuket, Bangkok and Osaka.
"As an international airline we will need to have a [number] of crew based in Australian and overseas ports," Mr Westaway said. "It will be very Aussie in terms of its personnel."
As for the $40 fee for a personality test and $49 for a security check - paid by applicants who get accepted for an interview - Mr Westaway said the charge applied to all Qantas Group cabin crew jobs.
"It's a cost-recovery process for Jetstar. We're making nothing on this," he said.
Jetstar also requires cabin crew to cover the cost of a medical, tooth and chest x-ray, along with a chickenpox and hepatitis inoculation if they score a job - an outlay of several hundred dollars.
But Mr Westaway said there was nothing untoward in the process. "Pilots can pay tens of thousands of dollars for individual training before they join an airline," he said.
Wow JQ really has really used JH's new IR laws. A very stupid thing especially if you don't get the job. But then I guess you can claim it as tax deduction.
Has this type of process ever been used by other airlines around the world??