Qantas grounding leaves world leaders stranded
By Khanyisa Tabata
30 October 2011
President Jacob was not left stranded in Australia by the grounding of the entire Qantas fleet yesterday.
He used a private plane to return to South Africa from the Commonwealth leaders’ summit in Perth.
Seventeen world leaders, booked on Qantas flights, had to change their travel plans after the grounding in a bid to end a bitter industrial dispute.
Tens of thousands of passengers around the world were stunned when the national carrier announced the extraordinary shutdown of all its flights.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce says aircraft will remain on the ground for as long as it takes.
He has vowed not to bow to union demands for a pay increase. Union members also want Joyce to abandon a plan to shift the airline’s operational focus to Asia.