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Qantas Airways grounds global fleet due to labor dispute

AP reports:

SYDNEY — Tens of thousands of stranded Qantas Airways passengers are pinning their hopes on a government-appointed tribunal on Sunday ordering an end to the industrial action that grounded the Australian national carrier's entire fleet.

Qantas said Sunday that it had canceled 447 flights affecting more than 68,000 passengers — including 17 world leaders.

When the grounding was announced Saturday, 36 international and 28 domestic Australian flights were in the air, said a Qantas spokeswoman, who declined to be named citing company policy. At least one taxiing flight stopped on the runway, a flier said. Qantas said 108 airplanes were grounded.

Danny Moloshok / Reuters

Qantas Airways personnel talk with passengers at Los Angeles International Airport October 29. Tens of thousands of stranded Qantas Airways passengers are pinning their hopes on a government-appointed tribunal on Sunday ordering an end to the industrial action that grounded the Australian national carrier's entire fleet.


David Crosling / EPA

The Qantas section of Tullamarine airport remains almost deserted, Melbourne, Australia, on October 230. All Qantas aircraft have been grounded due to an industrial depute.

David Crosling / EPA

Qantas aircraft remain parked in their bays at Melbourne's Tullamarine airport, Australia, on Oct. 30. All Qantas aircraft have been grounded due to an industrial depute.