Jetstar has cancelled dozens of flights, affecting thousands of passengers, as it seeks to minimise disruptions from planned industrial action on Wednesday.
A dozen flights between Sydney and Melbourne have been grounded, along with six each between between Sydney and Brisbane and from Melbourne to Brisbane.
Scores of flights originating in Adelaide, Avalon, Cairns, the Gold Coast, Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney have also been cancelled. In total 48 flights will not take off (see the full list here).
The airline has grounded the plans ahead of planned industrial action across Australia by the Transport Workers Union, which represents ground staff such as ramp workers and baggage handlers.
“To minimise the disruption caused by the TWU action, it has been necessary to proactively cancel some of our domestic flights in Australia,” Jetstar said.
“We have now contacted all customers who are impacted by these cancellations.”
International flights to and from Australia are not affected by the planned industrial action.
Jetstar said it would also offer refunds to customers booked to travel on Wednesday whose flights were not cancelled because the industrial action created uncertainty about delays to other flights.
Passengers can contact Jetstar ahead of their flight to shift their travel to another day.
The airline said passengers who chose to continue with flights on February 19 would be contacted by text and email if their flight was going to be delayed.
The industrial dispute has been simmering since December, when dozens of flights were cancelled and scores more disrupted in the weeks before Christmas.
Jetstar is in a dispute over proposed new enterprise agreements for its ground crew and pilots.
The TWU said its members were being asked to accept an agreement that was even worse than the one they were currently on.
“Jetstar workers do not take this decision lightly and we apologise to members of the public who will be unable to fly on Wednesday,” the union’s national secretary, Michael Kaine, said last Friday.
“But these workers are in the fight of their lives for a decent standard of living, to be able to put food on the table and to ensure they and their kids have a future.”