Unions today welcomed the news that Ansett planes will return to the skies from Saturday, saying it was an important first step in rebuilding the airline.

ACTU Secretary Greg Combet said the breakthrough would provide an important boost to Ansett workers who were becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of Federal Government support for their efforts to revive the airline.

“This shows what can be achieved with a bit of active support from the Federal Government,” said Mr Combet.

“We welcome the Government’s commitment to guarantee Ansett tickets and help kick-start the airline’s operations. But a far more significant commitment from the Federal Government will be needed if a viable long-term solution for Ansett is to be developed.

“John Howard and John Anderson have dipped their toes in the water. They must now build on this and support the administrators in the development of a long-term solution for Ansett.”

As part of a union plan to get Ansett flying again launched on Tuesday the ACTU is calling on the Federal Government to:

  • bring all stakeholders together and develop a comprehensive rescue plan for Ansett
  • provide a short term $200 million capital and/or equity investment in Ansett
  • guarantee support for all regional services
  • commit a substantial proportion of Government air travel to Ansett and
  • provide 100% protection of employee entitlements.


Mr Combet urged the public to back Ansett and welcomed reports that more than 300 Ansett flights had been booked in just two hours this morning.

“There is enormous public support for Ansett and its staff. I would urge the community to show that support in the most practical way possible – by flying Ansett,” said Mr Combet.