Hit or Miss?: Qantas grounds entire fleet after industrial dispute

Air rage - Australian airline Qantas dominated news bulletins this weekend as an industrial dispute left thousands of travellers stranded.

The world's tenth-largest airline grounded its fleet on Saturday in response to months of strikes by trade unions. The move prompted the Australian government to intervene, resulting in a tribunal ordering an end to the dispute. In a statement, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce apologised to passengers.


I don't know of any airline boss who would ground their airline for non-safety reasons. It was an extraordinary move aiming to drag the Australian government into the dispute between Qantas and its unions.

Qantas was banking on the government intervening to bring the industrial relations strife to an end. To some extent it worked, as the Fair Work tribunal ruled that strikes must cease.

However, Qantas boss Alan Joyce decided to ground the fleet so quickly that he even caught his own company off-guard. Its customer service centre couldn't cope with the passenger queries and even asked people not to ring.

Perhaps most embarrassingly, Qantas left several world leaders stranded at the Commonwealth Summit. Upsetting the Australian Prime Minister and many world leaders won't help any airline win friends - MISS.

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