Qantas back in the air, with extra flights to clear backlog

By David Flynn, October 31 2011
Qantas back in the air, with extra flights to clear backlog

Qantas will restart a limited number of domestic and international flights this afternoon, Monday 31 October, with the aim of returning to a full schedule by Tuesday afternoon.

Qantas is also considering putting on additional flights to clear the backlog of passengers stranded by Saturday's snap shutdown of the airline.

"We will have four international supplementary services ready to go this afternoon" said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. "We are assessing our ability to put on (domestic) supplementary services to clear the backlog."

"We anticipate the fleet will return to business as usual over the next 24 hours."

A Qantas spokesman said the fleet had been kept "in a reasonable state of readiness" during the shutdown, and as soon as the airline receives the green light from the Civil Aviation Authority "international departures will be ready to go. We will launch those flights as soon as possible"

The airline grounded its fleet on Saturday as an unprecedented 'last ditch' measure following a series of crippling strikes by unions, but an overnight ruling by Fair Work Australia terminated the union action and allowed Qantas to return to the air.

Qantas and the unions now have 21 days to settle their dispute and reach a binding agreement. Failing that, the FWA will force a compulsory arbitration.

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

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


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