Qantas Airways, Australia's flag carrier, said on Monday that it is adjusting its schedule for a couple of days this week to mitigate any operational disruptions arising from a new planned strike by the pilots at its units.

The airline expects that most customers will reach their destinations on the same day as their bookings, utilising a mix of Qantas-owned and third-party aircraft.

Pilots at Network Aviation and QantasLink units will begin a new strike this week, as they persist in demanding higher pay, the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) said in a statement on Monday.

The pilot groups are attempting to negotiate a new enterprise deal to replace the Network Aviation Pilots Enterprise Agreement 2016, which expired in October 2020.

Pilots at QantasLink and Network Aviation are set to halt work on Thursday and Friday, the AFAP said.

A hearing between the parties is also scheduled at Australia's Fair Work Commission on March 14 and 15, aiming to reach a settlement over a dispute that has persisted for nearly two years.

The union and the airline have been negotiating for over 18 months, during which the pilots have rejected three deals, including an offer of a pay increase of more than 25% and subsequent 3% annual increases.

The AFAP represents 95% of the commercial pilots employed by Qantas Group subsidiary Network Aviation, responsible for flying both passenger transport under QantasLink and fly-in fly-out (FIFO) as well as private charter aircraft under Network Aviation in Western Australia.

(Reporting by Neha Soni; Editing by Varun H K and Dhanya Ann Thoppil)