Qantas ‘ghost flights’: Airline agrees payouts to settle lawsuit

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Legend, Qantas accused of selling thousands of tickets for canceled flights

  • Author, Joao da Silva
  • Role, Economic journalist

Australia’s largest airline, Qantas, has agreed to pay a fine of A$100 million ($66.1 million, £52.7 million) to settle a court case accusing it of selling thousands of tickets for flights that it had already canceled.

As part of the agreement with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the company will also launch a plan worth up to A$20 million to compensate affected passengers.

Qantas chief executive Vanessa Hudson said the move represented an important step towards “restoring confidence in the national carrier”.

The so-called “ghost flights” case, launched by the ACCC in August, alleged that in some cases Qantas had sold tickets for flights that had been canceled for weeks.

The penalty agreement between Qantas and the ACCC will now need to be approved by the Federal Court of Australia.

Under the plan, customers who purchased tickets for flights that have already been canceled for two days or more will be entitled to compensation.

Depending on the airline, they will receive 225 AUD for domestic flights and 450 AUD for international tickets.

“When flights resumed after the Covid shutdown, we recognize that Qantas failed its customers,” said Ms Hudson, who said she had made restoring the airline’s reputation a priority during his appointment to this position last year.

She also said the company had revamped its processes and invested in technology to prevent the problem from recurring.

“We are pleased that Qantas has admitted to misleading its customers and has accepted that a very significant penalty is required,” ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said.

Qantas was facing a series of scandals and lawsuits when Ms Hudson became the first woman to lead the airline.

His predecessor, Alan Joyce, led the company through the 2008 financial crisis, the pandemic and record fuel prices.

However, by the time Mr Joyce resigned in 2023, Qantas was facing growing public anger over high airfares, mass delays and cancellations and the treatment of workers.

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Sara Adm

Aimant les mots, Sara Smith a commencé à écrire dès son plus jeune âge. En tant qu'éditeur en chef de son journal scolaire, il met en valeur ses compétences en racontant des récits impactants. Smith a ensuite étudié le journalisme à l'université Columbia, où il est diplômé en tête de sa classe. Après avoir étudié au New York Times, Sara décroche un poste de journaliste de nouvelles. Depuis dix ans, il a couvert des événements majeurs tels que les élections présidentielles et les catastrophes naturelles. Il a été acclamé pour sa capacité à créer des récits captivants qui capturent l'expérience humaine.
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