In this media release put out yesterday the Ansett administrators, Mark Korda and Mark Mentha, of Andersen, announced that Ansett aircraft would begin flying again today and that up to 350 Ansett ground staff would return to work.

At the same time they announced that all employees had been paid outstanding wages and salaries up to the day administrators were appointed.

At a packed media conference at Ansett’s headquarters Mr Mentha announced that Ansett Company, Aeropelican Air Services Pty Ltd, would resume flights between Sydney and Belmont.

The first flight is scheduled for 6.45am on Friday September 21 and there will initially be six flights daily between Belmont and Sydney.

“The spirit and hopes of all stakeholders, including 16,000 Ansett employees, will be on board the first flight,” Mr Mentha said.

“We have also just reached agreement in principle for Ansett to carry passengers for Qantas using ten Ansett 320 aircraft. “

“The Ansett flights on main trunk routes will use Ansett pilots and crew and Ansett terminal staff. Flights will begin either tomorrow or Saturday morning.”

Mr Korda added that the administrators had had significant cooperation from the West Australian Government and that both parties were working hard to get Skywest back into the air in that State.

Similar initiatives were underway with the Federal and State Governments in relation to Kendell airlines.

“Indeed we have had tremendous cooperation from all stakeholders, including Federal and State Governments, unions and employee groups and believe this has gone a long way to enhancing the prospects of a restoration of main trunk and regional services,” he said.

He said that 230 Ansett ground handling cargo employees servicing international flights across Australia would return to work tomorrow.

Another 100 Ansett third-party passenger handling employees servicing Malaysian, Cathay Pacific and Thai Airways would also go back to work.

“This is a big step for Ansett and its employees and we will continue to work strenuously in their interests and in close cooperation with all the stakeholders involved. “

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