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Talks resume as Qantas offers free flights to say sorry

written by australianaviation.com.au | November 7, 2011
A Qantas 737-800 at Queenstown.

Talks between Qantas and three of its unions are set to resume today for the first time since the airline grounded its fleet over the labour dispute.

The two sides are to meet at Fair Work Australia, which imposed a three-week deadline for them to reach an agreement when it ordered both to halt industrial action last week. If they fail to reach agreement the dispute will go before a three-judge panel for binding arbitration.

Meanwhile, the airline announced that it will dole out free flights to passengers stranded by the grounding of its fleet.

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Customers whose flights were disrupted between 5pm on Saturday October 29 and midnight on Monday October 31 are eligible for a free return economy flight anywhere in Australia, or between Australia and New Zealand, the company said, adding that the offer is just the first step in an effort to apologise to customers.

But the unions say the move does too little to compensate the estimated 70,000 passengers who saw their travel plans thrown into havoc by the surprise grounding.

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