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UPDATE | Qantas has issued a new timetable starting Monday October 17 which sees 110 flights per week cancelled due to ongoing industrial action. For a complete list of all cancelled flights, click here.
PREVIOUS | Qantas passengers face more uncertainty over cancelled and delayed flights this coming Friday, October 14, when members of the aircraft engineers' union down tools for another series of four-hour stoppages.
Similar industrial action was planned for yesterday by the ALAEA (Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association) but was called off with just hours to spare by the union – a move which came too late for some 11,000 travellers, as Qantas had already cancelled 40 flights today and delayed 24 more, including several international flights to Asia and Europe.
That pattern, and indeed a similar impact on flights, could be played out this Friday. Qantas has twice in the past week seen unions abandon their stop-work plans at the proverbial eleventh hour, leaving the airline forced to implement its restricted schedule.
Qantas spokeswoman Olivia Wirth sledged the union's sudden backdown as "cynical games", saying "We would like to re-instate services but it’s too late. You can’t just turn an airline on and off."
Friday October 28 also looks to be be a day to avoid travelling on, as this is the date of Qantas' annual general meeting and ALAEA federal secretary Steve Purvinas warns that "when the Qantas AGM takes place you're likely to see full-day stoppages."
Those Fridays are just two more bumps in the road towards Christmas as the union ramps up its industrial action. Purvinas went so far as to suggest that travellers should fly with another airline rather than Qantas.
"If I was a person considering travel over the period up until Christmas I'd probably be looking at airlines other than Qantas" Purvinas told reporters in Melbourne. "If I was a passenger I wouldn't be purchasing a ticket with them at this stage."