October 29, 2011- Australian airline Qantas has grounded its entire fleet both domestically and internationally for an indefinite basis because of disputes in the industry. As of Monday, the airline will also institute a lockout of pilots, engineers and other employees.
Qantas is using this action under the Fair Work Act provisions following a long and heated standoff between the airline and three unions: ALAEA – the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association, TWU – the Transport Workers Union and AIPA – the Australian and International Pilots Associations.
Qantas has already spent to date over $68 million and is losing on a per week basis over $15 million in revenues. Over 600 flights have already been cancelled and more than 70,000 passengers have felt the effects of the long running dispute.
Alan Joyce, the Qantas CEO said, “The unions will be locked out until they withdraw the extreme claims and come to an agreement with the airline.”
He added. “The airline was forced to take this action because of the action of the three unions involved.”
Financially the overall impact in 22 airports across the globe of the 108 aircraft is $20 million a day. The Australian government announced its concern for the workforce involved, the future of the airline and its passengers. Ticket transfers and refunds will be issued to those passengers affected by the flights that have been cancelled.