Qantas CEO Alan Joyce speaks in front of Qantas Airways flight QF7474 during an official farewell event for the Qantas 747 fleet at Sydney Airport in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 22 July 2020. EFE-EPA/JOEL CARRETT AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT/FILE

Qantas sued for selling thousands of canceled flight tickets

Sydney, Australia, Aug 31 (EFE).- Australia’s competition and consumption agency reported Thursday that it sued the airline Qantas for “misleadingly” promoting the sale of thousands of tickets of more than 8,000 flights that had already been canceled between May 2022 and July 2022.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce speaks in front of Qantas Airways flight QF7474 during an official farewell event for the Qantas 747 fleet at Sydney Airport in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 22 July 2020. EFE-EPA/JOEL CARRETT AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT/FILE

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in a statement that the airline continued to sell tickets or delayed informing passengers of the problem for two days or more.

The commission also said the airline kept the online sale option of canceled flights active and delayed notifying these changes for two weeks on average, which in some cases extended by more than 45 days.

Among examples of the disturbances allegedly caused by Qantas is the case of flight QF93 between the Australian city of Melbourne to Los Angeles (United States), scheduled for May 6, 2022.

The airline informed its passengers of the cancellation two days before the scheduled departure of this flight and four days after making the decision to cancel it, the statement added.

This “deceptive” conduct gave affected passengers “less time” to look for alternatives and may even have resulted in them paying “higher prices to fly at a certain time” because of these cancellations, said commission President Gina Cass-Gottlieb, in Thursday’s statement.

Qantas, which could face significant fines if found guilty, said in a statement published Thursday that it takes the lawsuit seriously and will answer it in court.

Regarding the period examined by the commission, between May 2022 and July 2022, Qantas said it was an “unprecedented” time for the civil aviation sector due to the recent reopening (at the end of February) of the country’s borders after almost two years of complete closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“A very difficult restart, with continued border uncertainty, staff shortages across the industry and fleet availability,” Qantas said, among other issues stemming from the health crisis. EFE

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