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Govt terminates Qantas strike: flights to restart Monday?

By John Walton     Filed under: qantas, strikes, flight cancellations, shutdown

LATEST | Qantas hopes to recommence domestic and international flights "as early as Monday afternoon" following an order by Fair Work Australia for unions to end their series of crippling Qantas strikes.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce welcomed the FWA ruling as one which "provides certainty for Qantas passengers".

"We will be getting our aircraft back up in the air as soon as possible. It could be as early as Monday afternoon on a limited schedule."

The FWA verdict gives Qantas and the three unions 21 days to settle their dispute and reach a binding agreement – failing that, the FWA will force a compulsory arbitration.

PREVIOUS | Qantas has cancelled every single worldwide Qantas-operated flight immediately, until Monday October 31, as it raises the stakes in its ongoing battle with unions to an unprecedented level.

All Qantas flights, from domestic Australian services to international flights, are now grounded.

The airline has locked out all the unionised workforce taking industrial action: pilots, engineers, baggage handlers, ground staff and catering staff -- which in effect means that Qantas simply can't fly.

The airline advises that "customers booked on Qantas flights should not go to the airport until further notice".

In a press conference today at Qantas' Sydney headquarters, CEO Alan Joyce announced that there will be "no further Qantas domestic departures or international departures anywhere in the world".

Read Alan Joyce's statement in full, and see what Qantas will cover in terms of compensation for stranded passengers.

"Jetstar flights, QantasLink flights and Qantas flights across the Tasman operated by Jetconnect will continue," an airline statement said.

Qantas is requesting that only passengers booked for travek within the next 24 hours call its contact centres (13 13 13 from within Australia).

"A full refund will be available to any customer who chooses to cancel their flight because it has been directly affected by the grounding of the fleet" the airline says. "Full rebooking flexibility will be available to customers who wish to defer their travel."

"Assistance with accommodation and alternative flights, as well as other support, will be offered to customers who are mid-journey."

Competitor Virgin Australia is offering special "Stranded Passenger" fares to Qantas passengers stuck away from home.

For the very latest, check out the rest of Australian Business Traveller's continuing coverage of the Qantas shutdown.


About John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 29/10/11 by DK

Dear Alan Joyce, you have your chance now! Quick hurry up and paint those planes into Jestar!

2 on 29/10/11 by jason

The average income for the top 10 company's ceo's in Australia is $9.75M. Us mere mortals may not like the enormous incomes they earn, but that's what they are paid. The CEO of Westpac Gail Kelly gets almost $10M! P/A. Lets not dwell on his pay now that we know that's the norm. They get paid this amount due to hard decisions they have to make. Qantas is our national airline and I for one am proud of our airline! To survive they have to get rid of the old union negotiated over the top pay conditions and employ people like the rest of us Australians. Good working fair people willing to work for fair wages. What they have now is not fair for the rest of us who are working much harder and for much less pay. Don't be fooled by the propaganda that the employees are hard done by. We would all change jobs in a second to work for Qantas if we all knew what they they get. I say save our Qantas, our Australian airline and stop the unions quest of a 15% pay increase over 3 years when we are battling to even keep our jobs

3 on 29/10/11 by am

Guess I'm staying at home this week then... Supposed to be flying out to the US on Wednesday for a week, but I'm going to refuse to go unless I've got a guaranteed flight back... 

1 on 29/10/11 by am

And just a minor point - only the unions involved are having their members locked out, not the entire unionised work force...

1 on 30/10/11 by John

Thanks am, that's a useful point to make crystal-clear in the article. I've edited it accordingly.

4 on 29/10/11 by Drcklee

tough decision by alan joyce. thats why he is paid the big bucks - he needs to make the hard decisions to keep our airline competitive in the GLOBAL economy. Unions need to be realistic - qantas needs to compete internationally. australia has some of the best wages and working conditions in the world. if qantas does poorly, its the management's fault for bad decisions not the unions who demand too much and hold the company for ransom. unions dont care because they are not accountable for what happens to the company, they just want more. pity  they dont take a global view. qantas as a company needs to make money, they are not a not-for-profit company and they need a fair return for their investment of capital.

job security is critical but with most of  the world struggling to keep their jobs, pay increases should be sacrificed to keep your fellow workers in employment. if  its too expensive for qantas to maintain their planes in australia, what does this fact say about our wage structure and conditions in general. Its time to review our productivity not lose jobs overseas!

5 on 30/10/11 by volitans

At the same time as these greedy unions strike 3 more diggers died in afghanistan. These diggers were just awarded a whopping 3.9% pay rise OVER 3 years and Qantas staff want how much for their pockets? 15% over 3 years plus perks and more.  Unionists get your priorities right and do something for your country (like get back to work then get on the first flight out of Australia).

6 on 30/10/11 by qantastic

Your comments are so laughable ! , I,m in the thick of all this , and you all havn,t a clue what is really happening .  I,d love to tell you more , but my job may be at risk ,,  cheers ,,,

1 on 31/10/11 by am

Well if you work for QF then you can be fired for breech of contract just having an account on a site like this one...

7 on 31/10/11 by undertheradar

this saga is far from over...let round 2 begin!! ... im an employee belonging to another union of said airline and i am ashamed of the actions of the unions involved..its like 'the boys club' in those unions...they constantly harp on about job security!!..NO job is secure in ANY company...and no EBA is perfect for all of its members....ive watched and adapted to many changes over my 20+ yrs..... markets/economies/companies are constantly changing/adapting worldwide...its part of life!!!!


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