Ansett planes to fly by Thursday?

Negotiations between Qantas and Ansett's administrator are dragging on, delaying plans to return Ansett planes to the air.

Qantas is planning to operate lease 10 Ansett A-320 planes under lease for one week to fly between Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Cairns.

Ansett ticket holders would have to purchase new tickets from Qantas.

One of the outstanding issues is whether the planes will depart from the Ansett terminals or Qantas terminals.

The Ansett administrator is under pressure with repossession crews ready to take back Ansett 767s. Mr Mentha has managed to put off any repossession until next Wednesday with a Federal Court order. He is appealing to all involved to back Ansett and allow more time for a rescue package.

Virgin Blue is looking to expand capacity, it has withdrawn the offer to lease planes from Ansett and is looking overseas for aircraft. Virgin is prepared to employ Ansett staff but not pay more than Virgin staff are earning.

Consumers who booked Ansett flights with Fly Buys points will have their points refunded. Fly Buys operates separately from Ansett and points can be used to book Qantas flights.

Sydney Morning Herald, 24/9/01,