Qantas has begun the difficult task of clearing the backlog of passengers after it was ordered by Fair Work Australia to get the planes back in the air.
But the saga continues, as the airline scrambles to address the potential damage to its reputation.
Amy Partington reports.
Qantas’s domestic flights returned to normal today, with all international flights expected to be back on track by this evening.
However, the airline will now have to focus on reaching an agreement with the unions to resolve their industrial disputes within the next twenty one days.
Aviation experts say Australia has a lot of competition within its commercial airlines and Qantas needs to resolve the dispute or face irreparable damage.
David Learmount, Aviation Expert: “Qantas could disappear off the planet and except briefly on domestic services Australian people, especially around the rest of the world, wouldn’t notice.”
Adding insult to injury, Virgin Australia today released incentives for stranded Qantas passengers to fly with them.
Virgin’s putting on extra flights, offering reduced fairs and bonus velocity points.
Qantas planes were out of the skies for just 48 hours and many marketing experts are saying the brand will repair itself.
But ultimately it will be customers who decide if the Flying Kangaroo will bounce back.
At Brisbane airport today the consensus was Qantas is back in the air to stay.
Vox 1: “They treated us pretty well.”
Vox 1: “Yeah it’s been all right actually, so far.”
Vox 3: “The Qantas staff were fabulous, just fabulous.”
Still, it’s expected to take up to three weeks before the airline is back to normal.
Amy Partington, QUT News.