Cancelled Qantas flights affect resort

Two Qantas flights at Queenstown Airport were cancelled yesterday as the airline grounded planes, preventing plane-loads of passengers from flying.

However, most other transtasman flights ran yesterday.

The Queenstown services were on a Qantas-operated B737-800. They were not Jetconnect, which operates under the Qantas banner, the airport's spokeswoman yesterday said.

A flight from Sydney was cancelled yesterday afternoon, and so its return run was unavailable for passengers, she said.

The airline stopped all domestic and international flights on Saturday indefinitely and announced the locking out of all employees covered by the collective agreements in dispute.

Thousands of passengers have been left stranded across Australia and potentially two flights carrying New Zealand passengers have been cancelled, Auckland Airport spokesman Richard Lewellyn said.

He said a flight due to arrive in Auckland at 9.10am yesterday from Los Angeles had been cancelled, and was unsure whether today's Qantas service on the same route would be cancelled.

EPMU aviation national industry organiser Strachan Crang said the lockout was affecting Air New Zealand flights that had landed in Australia.

Qantas provides baggage handling for incoming Air New Zealand flights, and the New Zealand company was having to make do with non-union and temporary staff he said.

The EPMU also covers up to 40 New Zealand-based Qantas workers, who were largely unaffected by the strike, he said.

The Australian Government has requested emergency negotiations to make progress after months of industrial action by three unions.

Dunedin International Airport chief executive John McCall said there were unlikely to be any direct problems for the airport, but southern passengers linking to Qantas flights could be affected.

Dunedin has no Qantas or Jetconnect flights.

Jetstar, wholly owned by Qantas, operated out of Dunedin. While it code-shared with its parent, he understood this arrangement was unaffected.

- Additional reporting by APNZ.

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