Qantas flies again

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Qantas is flying again after the Australian government applied to terminate all industrial actions which had grounded the entire fleet over the weekend.

On Saturday the airline locked out all employees covered by industrial negotiations with the Australian Licensed Engineers Union, the Transport Workers Union and the Australian and International Pilots Union.

This action was in response to strikes which the airline reckoned had cost some $68 million, around £45 million, at $15 million per week in lost revenue. Approximately 70,000 passengers have been affected and more than 600 flights cancelled.

Following the lockout, the Federal Government applied for termination or suspension of the industrial disputes on Sunday, under its Fair Work Australia programme.

Fair Work Australia this morning granted the Australian Government’s application to terminate all industrial action by the unions and Qantas.

Under the orders issued by Fair Work Australia, there will now be up to 21 days of negotiations between the parties. No industrial action can take place during this period. If no agreement is reached, binding arbitration will take place under the control of Fair Work Australia.

Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce said: “This is a good outcome that will enable us to begin operating flights this afternoon on a limited schedule with the approval of the regulator, CASA… The industrial process has now passed into the hands of the independent umpire.”

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