Qantas Suffers Third Midair Mechanical Issue In Three Days
A Qantas Airways Ltd. flight to Sydney returned to Melbourne with potential engine trouble, the airline’s third consecutive day of mid-air mechanical issues following a mayday alert by a plane en route from Auckland.
(Bloomberg) -- A Qantas Airways Ltd. flight to Sydney returned to Melbourne with potential engine trouble, the airline’s third consecutive day of mid-air mechanical issues following a mayday alert by a plane en route from Auckland.
The pilots of flight QF430 on Friday received an indication of a minor engine problem and turned back to Melbourne as a precaution, Qantas said in a statement. The aircraft landed normally and both engines remained operational throughout the flight, the airline said.
The incident follows the return to Sydney yesterday of a Qantas flight to Fiji that had indicated a potential mechanical problem.
The previous day, a Qantas jet on its way to Sydney from Auckland signaled an emergency and shut down one of its engines. The aircraft landed safely at Sydney and all 145 passengers disembarked normally.
All three planes were Boeing Co. 737s, the workhorse of the carrier’s Australian fleet.
The timing of the incidents gives ammunition to Qantas critics who argue the airline’s planes are too old — some have been in service for about 20 years — and claim Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce cut costs too deeply during the pandemic. Qantas is renewing its domestic fleet over the next decade.
At the same time, the precautions taken by the pilots also highlight a safety culture that has meant Qantas has never had a fatal jet airliner accident. Engine shutdowns are rare, but pilots are trained to manage them safely and Boeing 737s can fly on one engine.
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