Melbourne: In a bid to win back public trust, Australian national carrier Qantas on Sunday said it would give away one lakh free tickets to over 70,000 passengers who were stranded last week in an unprecedented two-day grounding of its fleet due to labour dispute. (Agencies)
"We know that we have disrupted a huge amount of customers and we are wanting to go above and beyond to say we are sorry," Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said.
"We're sorry for what happened, and we hope people will understand why we did it," Joyce said.
Qantas had grounded its entire fleet on October 29 in order to force a resolution to an ongoing dispute with trade unions over pay, conditions and job security.
Qantas will give away 100,000 free air tickets to over 70,000 travellers who were stranded in 22 cities across the world when it grounded the entire fleet, a news agency reported.
Australia's national carrier has already promised to refund all "reasonable losses" for passengers affected by the grounding.
Qantas has also apologised through newspaper advertisements and informing passengers that they would soon be contacted them about the free flight offer.
All Australian resident passengers whose flights were disrupted in the stoppage from October 29 to October 30 will be offered a free return economy flight to New Zealand or any destination within Australia.
And passengers will be refunded the full cost of their Qantas ticket and any expenses they incurred while stranded away from home.
Also, passengers who bought tickets on other airlines to make up for the missed flights also will be reimbursed for the difference between the new flight and their original Qantas flight, the report said.
With industrial action terminated by Fair Work Australia, Qantas was "100 percent focused on what matters to customers," Joyce said in a statement.
The move is expected to cost the airline 20 million Australian dollars (USD 20.73 million) for an estimated 100,000 tickets.
"We will be doing everything possible, bending over backwards, to make sure they continue to travel with Australia's national carrier, Qantas," airline spokeswoman Olivia Wirth said.
But Qantas unions are unconvinced by the gesture, arguing it just proves how cashed-up the airline is.
"This company has 65 percent of the domestic market yet they're saying there's a crisis," said Transport Workers Union national secretary Tony Sheldon.
Melbourne: In a bid to win back public trust, Australian national carrier Qantas on Sunday said it would give away one lakh free tickets to over 70,000 passengers who were stranded last week in an unprecedented two-day grounding of its fleet due to labour dispute.