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Qantas flights resume after strike

Australian airline Qantas has resumed flights, with the first London departure cleared for take-off from Heathrow.

As many as 2,921 passengers at Heathrow have been affected by the decision of Airbus to ground all its planes on Saturday in an industrial row.

Worldwide, as many as 70,000 passengers have been hit by the company's decision.

After intervention by the Australian government, Qantas resumed flights on Monday morning, with the first service to operate being a flight from Sydney to Jakarta in Indonesia.

Qantas said all its domestic services were expected to run normally, with international services expected to be back to normal by late on Tuesday.

Qantas said: "Domestic and international services have resumed. We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience and stress our customers have faced over the past days and months. Industrial action is now over, you can again book Qantas flights with confidence."

The Qantas planes have taken to the skies again after the Australian government ordered an arbitration hearing.

In a victory for the airline, Fair Work Australia issued an emergency ruling, ordering the unions to return to the negotiating table and come to an agreement within 21 days or face binding arbitration.

In the last few weeks, workers have staged strikes and refused overtime work over concerns that some of the airline's 35,000 jobs would be moved overseas. The strikes have cost the airline 15 million Australian dollars (£10 million) a week.

Some aviation experts said the surprise grounding of planes has hurt the reputation of Australia's flag carrier around the world - but, Qantas shares jumped almost 5% to 1.62 Australian dollars (£1.07) on the stock exchange in Sydney.


From Belfast Telegraph