Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Qantas Flights Back to Normal After Chaos

After two days of chaos that left thousands of travellers high and dry around the world, Qantas Airways says its flight schedule is back to normal on Tuesday morning. There are also reports of airline slashing down airfares.

Qantas Airways says its flights were back to normal on Tuesday after the airline grounded its entire fleet on Saturday to counter the continuing strikes that have been marring the company for past few months now.

Qantas said all of its flights were operating on time and as scheduled. The airline said that the backlog of travellers caused as a result of fleet grounding is likely to be cleared by Tuesday afternoon.

In a completely unexpected and startling move, Qantas Airways had grounded all its flights on Saturday to create a scene of chaos at airports all over the world. Australia’s flag carrier took the step as a response to a string of strikes by unions representing pilots, aircraft mechanics, baggage handlers and caterers.

Heaps of passengers - be it budget travellers with cheap flight tickets or passengers with first class tickets - were subjected to alarm and turmoil as every Qantas flight was off the schedule.

Confusion and panic ruled the roost for some 48 hours before an Australian court put an end to 48 hours of travel chaos. The arbitration court ordered to put an end to the strikes and also ordered to call off the staff lockout by the airline. The court has provided the warring parties 21 days to settle their differences and reach for an agreement. And if they fail to do so then they will be forced into a mandatory arbitration.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce advocated his move to ground the flights.

“I'll make whatever tough decisions are needed to be made in order to ensure the survival of this great company,” Alan Joyce was quoted as stating in various news portals.

Incessant union strikes have caused the cancellation of 600 Qantas flights in past few months. This has adversely impacted nearly 70,000 customers and has cost Qantas Airways 70 million Australian dollars ($75 million).

Qantas Airways is said to have infuriated union workers when it stated in August that it hopes to improve its unprofitable overseas business by starting an Asia-based airline with its own name and brand. The five-year restructure plan will cost 1,000 jobs.

Qantas Airways Will Reduce Airfares: Reports

Reports are doing the rounds that Qantas Airways, one of the world’s largest airlines, will start doling out promotional enticements to attract travellers. There is no denying the fact that the airline’s reputation and brand image has taken a grand beating during the last few months of unending industrial action which culminated with airline grounding all of its flights. If reports are to be believed then the airline will offer cheap flight tickets to entice travellers. Certain other plans are also being formulated to tempt passengers during the peak travel holiday season of Christmas.

It will surely require an effort to bring back the lost business for Qantas Airways.

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