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Monday, October 31, 2011

Qantas to resume flights

CANBERRA: Qantas will resume flights on Monday after an independent tribunal ordered a permanent end to the industrial dispute with its union members.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the airline will resume flights by mid-afternoon on a limited schedule.

The move comes after Fair Work Australia issued a ruling, after hearing evidence from the airline, unions and the government.

The dispute had resulted in Qantas grounding all its flights on Saturday.

"Operations will resume progressively from this afternoon. Our focus is bringing our schedule back to normal as soon as possible," Joyce said.

The airline and the union members were in a dispute since August this year when the carrier announced a plan to restructure its operations and outsource some of the services.

The unions were against the plan, which they said was expected to result in almost 1,000 job cuts at Qantas' Australian operations.

Last week, Qantas claimed that the industrial dispute was costing it A$15 million per week due to flight cancellation and delays.

The dispute took a dramatic turn on Saturday when Qantas grounded all international and domestic flights.

"This has been a challenging period for Qantas, its employees, its customers and its shareholders," Joyce said.

He added that the matter was now being looked into by the tribunal and he was confident the airline and unions will work together to find a solution.

"The industrial process has now passed into the hands of the independent umpire. All parties will be treated equally and we will respect the decisions that are made," he said.

"We have new and existing agreements with 12 unions. We anticipate the conclusion of agreements with the remaining three." - Agencies

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