1 Nov 2011

Air NZ fears tourism impact of Qantas grounding

11:30 am on 1 November 2011

Air New Zealand may fill up its trans-Tasman flights because of the Qantas disruption but the national carrier says the dispute is not good for tourism.

An independent tribunal in Australia has ordered an end to the bitter industrial dispute between Qantas and three unions that left the carrier's flights around the world grounded.

Planes are expected to start flying again on Monday afternoon but it is feared it could take days to clear the backlog.

Air New Zealand Australasia general manager Bruce Parton says his airline will experience some benefits from the Qantas grounding, as it runs full planes across the Tasman.

However he says the dispute is not good for tourism in the region.

Mr Parton says the grounding of flights without prior notice will have put people off travelling to this part of the world.

He says a lot of people who come here plan to visit both New Zealand and Australia and some will cancel their trips because of the grounding.

Mr Parton says Air New Zealand and its alliance partner Virgin Australia are working hard to make sure all their customers are able to make it to the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.