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John Travolta's Airplane Safety Video Dropped by Qantas

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John Travolta (AP)

Hollywood heavyweight John Travolta may be the highest-profile casualty of industrial action by Qantas pilots, according to union officials Wednesday.

The Australian carrier Qantas has begun replacing its controversial in-flight safety video featuring the "Grease" and "Pulp Fiction" star.

Travolta, who owns a vintage Qantas Boeing 707-138B jet and is a goodwill ambassador for the airline, starred in the three-minute clip which has played before take-off on all flights since earlier this year.

But now it is disappearing from in-flight screens -- as an ongoing industrial dispute between Qantas and the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) heats up.

The airline has confirmed it is replacing the Travolta video but insisted it was only a "temporary feature." However, the union says there is another motive at play, with the video's message similar to their own.

In the clip, Travolta says, "There's no one I'd rather have at the controls than a Qantas pilot."

This is the same motto that the AIPA uses in its campaign against Qantas sourcing pilots from overseas -- and paying them less.

"The seemingly common-sense message has now earned the Hollywood star the sack from the Qantas in-flight video," an AIPA spokesperson said.

"With Qantas management under [CEO] Alan Joyce preparing to announce moves to replace Australian Qantas pilots with outsourced and offshore alternatives on August 24, Travolta's message has been deemed inappropriate for the times."

When the safety video was released earlier this year there was outrage about the use of Travolta in the clip.

Cabin crew argued that a "real pilot" like Captain Richard de Crespigny, credited with saving 466 lives on a crippled flight from Singapore, should deliver the message. Some staff described the video as "corny" and "tacky."

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