Sat, October 29, 2011
Business > Industries

Australian airline Qantas grounds all flights

2011-10-29 08:57:16 GMT2011-10-29 16:57:16(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

SYDNEY, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Australia's largest airline company Qantas was grounding its entire flights and locking out its staff due to pay quarrel with the trade unions, Qantas director Alan Joyce announced on Saturday.

He said all domestic employees involved with the dispute would be locked out as of 8 p.m. local time on Monday, but the flights would be grounded immediately.

"We are locking out until the unions withdraw their extreme claim and reach an agreement with us," Joyce said in a statement.

"It's an unbelievable decision, it's a very hard decision ... we have no alternative," he said, adding this was the fastest way to ensure the airline gets back in the air.

"We will provide full refunds to those who choose to cancel their flights," Joyce said.

He also blamed the trade union for deliberately destabilizing the company and there was no end in sight.

Both the international and domestic fleet have been grounded indefinitely.

The Qantas airline has been at logger heads recently with its pilots, ground staff and engineers over payment, conditions and the outsourcing of jobs overseas.

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