Qantas resumes Tokyo services but strikes loom

Qantas resumes Tokyo services but strikes loom

Qantas Airways is resuming direct flights from Sydney to Tokyo Narita due improvements in infrastructure in the Japanese capital following last month’s earthquake and tsunami.

Services were initially suspended after the disaster due to power cuts and transport issues, as well crews being unable to take sufficient rest breaks.

Chief executive Alan Joyce said the airline had worked closely with local and international regulatory bodies, as well as Australian government, to monitor the situation in Japan.

“Together with the advice of these authorities and our own assessments, Qantas is now satisfied that infrastructure services have returned to normal in Tokyo,” he said in a statement.

“Our crew will now be able to undertake appropriate rest breaks.”

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In separate news, Qantas faces the threat of imminent strike action by maintenance engineers, who voted 80 percent in favour of a walk out.

Strikes could be called at no more than three days notice and last up to 48 hours.

The airline has been in talks with the Australian engineer’s union, the ALAEA, on a new workplace agreement for months.

However, the union ruled out striking over Easter, with an official saying: “We don’t want to disrupt the travelling public. If action is to occur, then it will be after [Easter].” The union must call industrial action within the next 30 days.