Qantas forced to ground planes as dispute deepens

City A.M. Reporter
AUSTRALIA’S Qantas Airways has grounded two more planes due to an escalating industrial dispute which threatens to disrupt thousands of domestic flights leading up to the crucial Christmas period.

Qantas warned yesterday of a maintenance backlog as aircraft engineers threatened to continue work bans until the end of the year, sending its shares down more than five per cent.

“If this overtime ban continues, we will be grounding even more aircraft,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said.

Two Boeing 767 aircraft would be grounded on 24 October in a move expected to result in the cancellation of a further 80 domestic flights over the next month, Qantas said.

The cancellations are in addition to five aircraft already grounded by Qantas, which operates a total fleet of more than 250 aircraft.