The cost of the ongoing strikes by Qantas workers has already cost the airline AU$68 million (US$71.9 million), and is expected to continue hitting Qantas to the tune of AU$15 million per week, the airline has admitted.
Qantas Chief Executive Officer, Alan Joyce said the situation was impacting both passengers and the company’s bottom line.
“This drawn out and coordinated industrial campaign by these three unions is now having a major impact on Qantas,” Joyce said. “AU$68 million is a significant impact on the company and the costs will continue to rise. In comparison, the impact on Qantas from grounding aircraft during the recent volcanic ash cloud was AU$49 million.
“[But] agreeing to the union’s unreasonable demands would have a far greater cost on the company including risking the future of Qantas,” he added.
The total number of passengers impacted by the industrial action since August is 70,922 from 129 cancelled flights and 387 delayed flights. In addition, Qantas has grounded seven aircraft – four Boeing 767s and three Boeing 737s – due to ongoing concerns over maintenance, following the strikes by the airline’s engineering union. This has led to the cancellation of 500 flights and the removal of 88,000 seats from sale.