Qantas Remains Grounded, Air France Cancels Flights


Qantas services have returned to normal today (Tuesday, 1 November 2011) with all flights operating on schedule, following the intervention of the Australian government in the dispute. The airline operated 65 international and 139 domestic flights yesterday, with low cost subsidiary Jetstar adding 7 domestic flights to help ease the backlog of stranded travellers.


Air travellers in Australia and Europe look set to endure difficult travels next week as major carriers Qantas and Air France continue to be plagued by operational disruptions from industrial action. Qantas flights remain grounded following the shock announcement by Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce yesterday while Air France expects to cancel nearly 20 percent of flights as a result of a 5-day cabin crew strike.


Entire Qantas Mainline Fleet Grounded

Sydney-based Qantas’ domestic and international operations remain cancelled as a response to industrial action from unions, with the airline not committing any date for the resumption of flights. Travellers are advised to check for the latest updates on the airline’s website and social media outlets. 


More than 68,000 passengers around the world have been affected by the grounding and Qantas has urged passengers not go to the airport until further notice. The airline is also offering full refunds for voluntary cancellations and total rebooking flexibility for passengers who opt to defer their travel, while it continues to provide assistance to travellers who are mid-journey.


Regional QantasLink flights, trans-Tasman Qantas flights operated by Jetconnect and Jetstar services are unaffected by the grounding and continue to operate as normal. Unsold seats on Jetstar’s domestic and international flights are being made available at discounted fares to passengers with valid Qantas itineraries.


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1 in 5 Air France Flights Scrapped

In Europe, Air France expects to cancel approximately 200 flights today as its cabin crew move into the second day of a planned 5-day strike. The carrier was forced to cancel 10 long-haul flights from Paris to destinations including Abu Dhabi, Montreal, New York, Tokyo and several West African cities yesterday, but mitigated the impact to passengers with advance warnings that reduced the number of people stranded at airports.


The airline is offering a full refund less service fees to passengers whose flights have been cancelled or delayed by more than 5 hours, while passengers originally scheduled to travel between 29 October and 2 November 2011 who require a modification to their booking have several options.


Affected passengers can change their travel dates free of charge to fly from 3 November to 9 December 2011, while those opting to fly from 10 December 2011 to 13 May 2012 may modify their booking for free or top up the difference with a higher fare. Air France is also allowing passengers to postpone their travel after 13 May 2012 or alter their destination or point of origin.


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