Qantas hit by another strike, cancels flights


Qantas passengers will face major delays today as another strike hits the airline, with aircraft engineers set to walk off the job from 3pm in Sydney.

Line maintenance engineers, who check aircraft on the tarmac, are stopping work for four hours today as part of a labour dispute with Qantas.

Three international flights and 25 domestic flights departing Sydney have been cancelled, delayed or moved forward, Qantas said.

The airline estimated a total of 46,500 passengers across Australia would be affected by the strike.

The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association said it would advise its members of where to meet during the stoppages via text messages and email from noon.

The latest strike comes after 17 Qantas flights were cancelled and another 29 delayed last Friday despite the Transport Workers Union cancelling its planned industrial action.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said last week he received death threats, a claim dismissed by some unionists as a publicity stunt.

NSW Police are investigating the threats.

The airline has also stepped up its PR offensive, taking out full-page advertisements in most major newspapers apologising for the inconvenience to passengers, and laying the blame for the disruption squarely at the feet of the unions.

More delays at Australia’s international airports are likely on Thursday when customs inspectors stop work over a pay negotiation.

The Community and Public Sector Union has rejected the Federal Government’s offer of a nine per cent pay rise over three years.