Qantas flights may be grounded if a dispute with aircraft engineers is not resolved. Qantas also lifted its fuel surcharge on international tickets by up to 15%, blaming the increase on the cost of fuel.
Qantas executives and union officials met in Sydney yesterday, with the union demanding a 5% payrise for 1700 engineers nationwide. The airline is offering only 3%. The union will call a four hour stopwork meeting if Qantas takes action against union members for taking part in industrial action, a move that could ground flights.
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Meanwhile the rise in the fuel surcharge will affect tickets issued on or after 17 January, taking the surcharge from Australia to Britain from $185 to $210 while outbound flights to mainland US, Canada, South America and India will rise from $145 to $165.
Qantas maintains the surcharge increase is a temporary measure.