Qantas planes to fly again

Sydney: Popular Australian airline, Qantas, is getting ready today to resume operations for the first time in two days, after an industrial tribunal ordered it and unions to halt a bitter row that grounded all its planes.

About 44 hours earlier, Qantas had grounded its entire fleet and locked out union staff. The airline shocked the country and infuriated the government when it announced this decision on Saturday.

The first passenger flight will take-off at 2:00 PM local time today, after unprecedented 44-hour grounding, Chief Executive, Alan Joyce said.

“(We’ll have) our first commercial flight with passengers on them by two o’clock this afternoon and the schedule will ramp up and hopefully we will be back to a full schedule tomorrow,” he told ABC.

“I know they (the Civil Aviation Safety Authority) are giving it a top priority,” Joyce said of the airline’s safety case pending approval by the flight safety watchdog.

The resumption of flights was ordered by industrial regulator Fair Work Australia, which after a hearing ordered an end to the polarising dispute between Qantas and unions.