Aussie court ends Qantas strike, fleet grounding

October 31, 2011 • Business

Jake Scobie throws a ball into the air as he waits for his flight at Sydney Airport in Sydney, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011. Qantas Airways grounded all of its aircraft around the world indefinitely Saturday due to ongoing strikes by its workers. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Qantas Airways could begin returning its grounded fleet to the skies as early a Monday after an Australian court intervened in a bitter labor dispute by ending strikes and canceling a staff lock out.

The arbitration court ruling Monday is a major victory in the airline’s battle with unions whose rolling strikes have forced to cancellation of 600 flights in recent months, disrupted the travel for 70,000 passengers and cost Qantas 70 million Australian dollars ($75 million).

But the surprise grounding of all 108 planes on Saturday, at a cost of $20 million a day, has hurt the Australian flagship’s reputation among the tens of thousand of passengers who have been stranded around the world.

“We will be getting our aircraft back up in the air as Login to read more

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