Qantas has reached agreements for compensation regarding the issue of “ghost flights.”

Australia’s leading airline, Qantas, has consented to an A$100 million ($66.1 million, £52.7 million) penalty settlement to resolve a legal dispute accusing it of selling numerous tickets for flights it had previously canceled. Alongside this agreement with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the company will initiate a compensation plan valued at up to A$20 million to aid affected passengers. Vanessa Hudson, Qantas’ Chief Executive, hailed this move as a crucial step in “restoring confidence in the national carrier.” The case, dubbed “ghost flight,” was instigated by the ACCC in August, alleging that Qantas had sold tickets for flights that had been canceled weeks in advance. The penalty arrangement necessitates approval by the Federal Court of Australia. Under the proposed plan, passengers who purchased tickets for flights canceled two or more days prior will be eligible for compensation, amounting to A$225 for domestic flights and A$450 for international ones, as per the airline. Hudson acknowledged Qantas’ shortcomings in addressing customer needs following the COVID shutdown and emphasized her commitment to enhancing the company’s reputation since assuming her role last year. Qantas has taken strides to overhaul its procedures and invest in technology to avert similar issues in the future. ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb welcomed Qantas’ acknowledgment of misleading its customers and its concurrence on the necessity of a substantial penalty. When Vanessa Hudson took the helm as Qantas’ first female leader, the airline was grappling with various scandals and legal entanglements. Her predecessor, Alan Joyce, navigated the company through significant challenges, including the 2008 financial crisis, the pandemic, and soaring fuel costs. However, upon Mr. Joyce’s departure in 2023, Qantas faced mounting public discontent over exorbitant airfares, widespread flight disruptions, and labor relations.

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