Australia's Qantas Airways said on Monday it expects to restore its schedule to normal in the next 24 to 48 hours after grounding its entire fleet at the weekend over a protracted labor dispute.

The first flight after the carrier was cleared to fly was an Airbus out of Sydney bound for Jakarta, a spokesman said.

Qantas took the drastic step to ground all flights on Saturday, disrupting 70,000 passengers and spurring the government to refer the dispute to the labor market regulator to seek a quick end to labor unrest. The labor tribunal ordered Qantas to resume flights and barred trade unions from staging more strikes.

(Reporting by Narayanan Somasundaram and Amy Pyett; Editing by Ed Davies)