Qantas has resumed operations on a “limited schedule” this afternoon.
According to a statement released by the carrier, Fair Work Australia, an independent workplace relations tribunal, granted an application to “terminate all industrial action by the Australian Licensed [Aircraft] Engineers Union, the Transport Workers Union and the Australian and International Pilots [Association].” This means there will be 21 days of negotiations between the unions and the carrier and “no industrial action can take place during this period.”
“Operations will resume progressively from this afternoon. Our focus is bringing our schedule back to normal as soon as possible. Safety will remain our first priority at all times,” said Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, in response to the tribunal’s decision.
Currently, the flight status updates on Qantas’ website indicates that evening flights departing for popular destinations in Asia, such as Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore, are on schedule. Passengers on flights that will resume services today are advised to travel to the airport as per normal check-in time. The carrier is offering full refunds and flexible re-booking options for all passengers affected by the industrial action.
The situation reached its worst point on Saturday (see story here) when Qantas decided to ground its entire fleet of aircraft due to the “extreme demands” proposed by the unions, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.
According to the carrier’s previous statement, to date the industrial actions have cost Qantas A$15 million (US$16 million).
For more information and timely flight updates, visit www.qantas.com.au