Misery for Qantas passengers as flights cancelledAgence France-Presse
SYDNEY – Embattled carrier Qantas was forced to cancel or delay more than 70 flights on Monday as aircraft engineers were to walk off the job for four hours in the latest round of strike action to hit the airline.
Some 11,000 passengers are set to be affected when the line maintenance engineers, who check aircraft on the tarmac, stop work as part of a labor dispute.
The industrial action begins in Sydney from 3pm (0400 GMT), Brisbane from 4pm, and Melbourne from 5pm.
The Qantas website showed 35 domestic flight cancellations and another 34 services delayed or brought forward.
Several international flights were also affected, with delays of more than two hours on some services to London via Bangkok and Singapore, Frankfurt via Singapore, and to and from Auckland.
“We will deploy larger aircraft and roster qualified management engineers to operational roles to minimise the impact. However there will still be significant impacts on our passengers,” Qantas spokeswoman Olivia Wirth said.
Unions are locked in protracted contract talks over pay and conditions with Qantas, which has said it will slash 1,000 jobs as part of its new Asia focus, with baggage handlers and other ground staff also striking in recent weeks.
On Friday, Australian police said they were investigating alleged death threats against chief executive Alan Joyce, while the airline has said managers had been sent menacing letters and strike-breaking workers bullied.