The Australia's pilots' union is furious that a woman who works for Qantas Airlines ground crew was able to sit on a flight from Sydney as well as the return to Dubai.
Qantas is demanding to know how she got access to a high-level security pass that allowed her to enter the cockpit.
The airline company acknowledged the incident took place. Recently, it put out a statement to Australian media admitting that the woman was wearing “parts” of a pilot’s uniform when she entered the cockpit. However, the airline says the woman was on the flight for operational reasons and that the flight crew knew she wasn’t a pilot, the press release said.
The incident happened last week. It is thought a crew member complained to the union.
A spokesman for the Australian and International Pilots Association confirmed that its vice president, Richard Woodward, has drafted a complaint letter to Qantas in which he says that the woman could have been mistaken for a pilot if there was an emergency on board.
The letter has been passed on to the union’s lawyer and will soon be sent to Qantas.
In the complaint, the union points out that it takes many years for pilots to be awarded the right to sit in the cockpit and the stunt could have compromised safety.
Qantas spokesman Andrew McGinnes confirmed to the Australian media yesterday that the woman was wearing part of the pilot uniform. He insisted the woman was on board for “operations reasons”.
The airline recently signed an alliance with Emirates to move its main stopover hub from Singapore to Dubai.