31-Oct-2011 8:57 AM

Qantas grounds fleet on 29-Oct, expected to resume services on 31-Oct

Qantas grounded (29-Oct-2011) the entire international and domestic fleet on 29-Oct-2011 in response to continuing industrial action by three unions. The grounding of the fleet was necessary, said CEO Alan Joyce, due to the airline's locking out of all employees covered by the enterprise agreements currently being negotiated with the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA), the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA). QantasLink, Jetconnect and Jetstar services were not affected by the grounding. [more - original PR] [more - original PR - Alan Joyce speech] [more - CAPA Analysis]

Fair Work Australia, the national industrial relations commission, ordered Qantas early on 31-Oct-2011 to recommence all services, after Prime Minister Julia Gillard ordered the commission to make an urgent ruling on the dispute (Reuters/Bloomberg/The Australian, 31-Oct-2011). The tribunal ordered Qantas and its unions to end all industrial action and resolve the dispute within 21 days or face a binding arbitration decision. Qantas confirmed (31-Oct-2011) all services would resume on Monday (31-Oct) afternoon, on a limited schedule. CEO Alan Joyce estimated his decision to ground the fleet would cost Qantas AUD20 million per day. The Government estimated the Qantas grounding cost would cost the Australian economy AUD250 million per day. Mr Joyce said the tribunal’s decision provides “certainty” for Qantas passengers. [more - original PR - Qantas service resumption] [more - CAPA Analysis]

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