Qantas resumes service after 2 day grounding

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Qantas Airways has re-commenced flights after grounding its fleet for almost two days.

QF 41, due for Jakarta, took off from the Sydney Airport at 15:41 local time, after approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

This is the first Qantas flight to resume service after the Australian industrial court ordered an end to all industrial action by the Australian Licensed Engineers Union (ALAEA), the Transport Workers Union (TWU), the Australian and International Pilots Union (AIPA) and Qantas.

Under the orders issued by Fair Work Australia (FWA), there will now be up to 21 days of negotiation between the parties.

No industrial action can take place during this period and if no agreement is reached, binding arbitration will take place under the control of Fair Work Australia.

The Australian flag carrier had said in an earlier statement that it will resume flights on a limited schedule by mid-afternoon today, and also focus on brining its schedule back to normal as quickly as possible.

Its domestic network will resume normal operations by tomorrow morning, said an airline spokeswoman.

While Qantas welcomed the tribunal's decision, the three unions involved issued statements condemning Qantas' actions and said they will assess the ramification of FWA's orders.

The FWA's order, seems "an unjust decision", said the ALAEA in a statement.

"We think we can fairly say that the outcome as it currently stands was not one that formed part of our plans but may be another hurdle we have to overcome to achieve our overall objective of saving Qantas and our profession from those who appear intent on destroying them," it added

Barry Jackson, president of the AIPA, meanwhile called Qantas' shut down "a gross over-reaction", and said that the union is hoping for a "positive outcome" from the 21 day negotiation period.

The Oneworld member grounded all its domestic and international operations at 17:00 Sydney time on Saturday in protest of on-going industrial action. Over 447 flights were cancelled and 68,000 passengers affected.

The drastic grounding comes after several weeks of occasional industrial action by members of the three unions, which has resulted in flight cancellations and disruptions that have cost Qantas Australian dollar (A$) 68 million ($72 million) so far.