Melbourne: In a bid to win back public trust,
Australian national carrier Qantas today said it would give
away one lakh free tickets to over 70,000 passengers who were
stranded last week in an unprecedented two-day grounding of
its fleet due to labour dispute.
"We know that we have disrupted a huge amount of
customers and we are wanting to go above and beyond to say we
are sorry," Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said.
"We`re sorry for what happened, and we hope people will
understand why we did it," Joyce said.
Qantas had grounded its entire fleet on October 29 in
order to force a resolution to an ongoing dispute with trade
unions over pay, conditions and job security.
Qantas will give away 100,000 free air tickets to over
70,000 travellers who were stranded in 22 cities across the
world when it grounded the entire fleet, AAP news agency
Australia`s national carrier has already promised to
refund all "reasonable losses" for passengers affected by the
Qantas has also apologised through newspaper
advertisements and informing passengers that they would soon
be contacted them about the free flight offer.
All Australian resident passengers whose flights were
disrupted in the stoppage from October 29 to October 30 will
be offered a free return economy flight to New Zealand or any
destination within Australia.
And passengers will be refunded the full cost of their
Qantas ticket and any expenses they incurred while stranded
away from home.
Also, passengers who bought tickets on other airlines to
make up for the missed flights also will be reimbursed for the
difference between the new flight and their original Qantas
flight, the report said.
With industrial action terminated by Fair Work Australia,
Qantas was "100 per cent focused on what matters to
customers," Joyce said in a statement.
The move is expected to cost the airline 20 million
Australian dollars (USD 20.73 million) for an estimated
"We will be doing everything possible, bending over
backwards, to make sure they continue to travel with
Australia`s national carrier, Qantas," airline spokeswoman
Olivia Wirth said.
But Qantas unions are unconvinced by the gesture,
arguing it just proves how cashed-up the airline is.
"This company has 65 per cent of the domestic market yet
they`re saying there`s a crisis," said Transport Workers Union
national secretary Tony Sheldon.