Saturday, October 29, 2011

Qantas Strikes to Impact 10,000 passengers on Friday

More than 10,000 passengers are to be affected as Qantas Airways cancels 70 flights amid another series of strikes by its ground workers. Qantas says the rolling strikes have cost the airline A$68 million so far.

Qantas Airways cancels 70 flights as the ground workers at airports all across the country decide to go on a strike.

The cancellation of 70 Qantas flights will affect more than more than 10,000 passengers on Friday.

If one looks at the cumulative figure of passengers who have been affected by the recent months of industrial action at Qantas Airways, then the number hovers around at a staggering 70,000! Past few months have indeed been quite troublesome for Australia’s national carrier with months of strikes by unions representing aircraft pilots, mechanics, baggage handlers and caterers.

Unions have apprehensions regarding the airline’s plans to move jobs offshore. Pay and work conditions are some other concerns of the unions.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce urges unions to put “more realistic” demands on the negotiation table.

“We urge the unions to stop this, to put to the table more realistic demands and to think about the jobs they're endangering around the country," he told the Nine Network.

"We've always said we want to do anything that will stop this disruption happening to our passengers - again I apologise to those customers that have been impacted by this."

On the other hand, unions questioned the ‘fat pay cheques’ of the management. "Engineers, like many other employees at Qantas, can't understand why plans to offshore jobs and sack 1000 people are being rewarded with cash bonuses and fat pay cheques to the CEO and management," Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA)’s federal secretary, Steve Purvinas was quoted by news websites.

Qantas Says Strikes Have Cost A$68 million

The protracted labour dispute has cost Qantas A$68 million so far. The airline is loosing a further A$15 million per week in revenues. The situation has become really serious for the airline with a massive decline in the advance bookings on carrier’s flights.

With the peak holiday travel season of Christmas drawing near, travellers are getting wary of booking with Qantas Airways. Especially, travellers who make advance bookings in order to net cheap flight tickets are apprehensive as no one with cheap flight tickets would like to face a cancellation at the time of journey.

Qantas said that the industrial action, taken up by the engineers', pilots' and Transport Workers' unions, has cost the airline more than the Chilean volcanic ash cloud.

"This drawn-out and co-ordinated industrial campaign by these three unions is now having a major impact on Qantas," Joyce said in a statement on Friday.

"$68 million is a significant impact on the company and the costs will continue to rise."

"In comparison, the impact on Qantas from grounding aircraft during the recent volcanic ash cloud was $49 million."

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