Qantas grounds fleet in jobs row

Australian national carrier Qantas Airways has grounded all of its planes around the world due to an industrial action by its staff.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce told a press conference in Sydney that all aircraft would remain grounded indefinitely until unions representing pilots and ground staff reach an agreement with the airline over pay and conditions.

"We have decided to ground the Qantas international and domestic fleets immediately," he said.

Flights already in the air when the announcement was made were continuing to their destinations.

The airline had been forced in reduce and reschedule flights for weeks because of a series of strikes over staff concerns that their jobs are being moved overseas.

A spokeswoman for British Airways, which has a joint services agreement with the airline, said: "British Airways-operated flights between the UK and Australia are not expected to be disrupted at this time.

"Customers who are booked to travel on a British Airways service operated by Qantas are urged to check the status of their flight.

"If your travel commences within the next 24 hours please contact our call centres to discuss alternatives."