Qantas planes climb back into the air today

More than 68,000 passengers on 447 flights affected by fleet grounding

A temporary solution has been found to Qantas’ debilitating labour dispute. The dispute had climaxed in a dramatic and unprecedented management lockout on Saturday that grounded the entire fleet – a decision that suddenly left tens of thousands of passengers stranded around the world. But the airline’s aircraft are back in the air from Monday after Australia’s workplace mediator ordered that the dispute must end. Yet although this brings relief to stranded passengers, it will take several more days before all services are back to normal. Commentators say that the situation has undoubtedly harmed Qantas’ reputation as a reliable airline.
According to the court decision, further negotiations are permitted between Qantas and the unions over a period of 21 days. Prime Minister Julia Gillard took the rare step of bringing in the workplace mediator to ensure a quick resolution. More than 68,000 passengers on 447 flights were affected by the grounding of 108 aircraft in 22 cities.
[pictured: Qantas A380; courtesy Qantas]

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