Monday, August 23, 2010

Cracks in the landing gear of five Qantas planes

How come this was not picked up during maintenance inspections? Or are there no inspections any more?

SOME flights between Sydney and Canberra have been cancelled after Qantas grounded five Bombardier Q400 aircraft due to landing gear problems.

The aircraft, operated by the carrier's regional arm QantasLink, were removed from service today following advice from the manufacturer, the airline said. An overseas Q400 operator had experienced a similar problem, prompting Qantas to investigate the fleet, it said.

Cracks were discovered in a major component of a landing gear fitting in five of its 21 Bombardiers, with the remaining 16 unaffected and to remain in service.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the issue was not an immediate safety concern, but needed to be rectified before the aircraft could be returned to service.

A resolution is not expected until the end of next week, forcing the cancellation of up to seven QantasLink Sydney-Canberra flights each day over that period. Affected customers will be contacted and put on the next available flights, Qantas said. Supplementary flights will also be operating and larger aircraft will be used wherever possible to minimise inconvenience, it said.

"Our approach to this issue, which requires the replacement of a main landing gear fitting component, is consistent with Qantas' proactive, conservative and safety-first approach to every part of its operations," Mr Joyce said. [BULLDUST!]


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Qantas profit falls, dividend scrapped

The way they treat their passengers and cut corners on maintenance, it's no wonder

QANTAS Airways has posted a 4.3 per cent fall in annual net profit to $112 million but says conditions are improving. Net profit at Qantas (qan.ASX:Quote,News) for the year to June 30 is down from $117 million in the previous corresponding period.

Underlying pre-tax profit for the year was $377 million, within its guidance of between $300 million and $400 million. That compares to an underlying pre-tax profit of $100 million in the previous corresponding period.

No final dividend will be paid, and the resumption of dividend payments will depend on trading results, market conditions and the level of capital expenditure commitments, Qantas said.

Chief executive Alan Joyce said if present conditions continue, the airline's first half underlying pre-tax profit for 2010/11 may be "materially stronger" than the first half of 2009/10. However, changes in fuel prices, currency exchange rates and general trading conditions could rapidly impact earnings, he warned.

"It is therefore not possible to provide a more specific forecast at this time given the volatility and uncertainty of the aviation market," Mr Joyce said.

Qantas expects to increase its capacity in the first half of 2010/11 by 9.6 per cent compared to the previous corresponding period as conditions improve, he said. "International demand and yield across the business and leisure sectors continue to improve and domestic business demand is also strengthening," Mr Joyce said.

"The domestic leisure market continues to be highly competitive. "However we expect this too will improve in the first half of the year." All business segments were profitable in the year to June, Mr Joyce said.

Qantas earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) were $67 million, up from $4 million in the previous corresponding period. Jetstar's EBIT was $131 million, up from $107 million in the previous corresponding period.

Qantas Frequent Flyer EBIT was $328 million, up from $226 million in the previous corresponding period.

Qantas Freight EBIT was $42 million, up from $7 million in the previous corresponding period.

The Jetset Travelworld Group EBIT was $14 million, down from $16 million in the previous corresponding period.

Passenger yields were down 7.2 per cent on the previous year, due to initiatives aimed at stimulating demand, but they were improving off their lows and business travel was recovering, Qantas said.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

QANTAS is VERY slippery over lost belongings of air passengers

And "slippery" is putting it politely

QANTAS staff routinely keep thousands of dollars' worth of cameras, mobile phones, computers and other valuables left on planes by passengers.

The Sunday Mail can reveal Qantas hold regular staff auctions to distribute the valuables. Qantas does not attempt to return lost items even though travellers sit in allocated seats and leave contact details with the airline.

Passengers are told to leave telephone messages describing the lost gear but are immediately told the items are unlikely to be recovered. Qantas says other passengers are likely to take any valuables left behind in seat pockets.

However, the airline conducts regular auctions where passenger valuables are up for grabs and insists other unclaimed items are given to charity.

Qantas, which generates $6.9 billion a year, said it donated hundreds of unclaimed valuables each month to the Salvation Army and Mission Australia in Sydney. But neither charity had received donated items from the airline for more than a year.

Mission Australia spokesman Paul Andrews said he received the last donation of lost property from Qantas two years ago. "We don't receive those donations any longer, but we did a few years back," he said.

The Salvation Army's area manager Geoff McCartney said his charity received items from Sydney International Airport, but nothing on a regular basis from Qantas. "Not as far as I know, we don't get anything from Qantas," he said. "I can't recall the last time one of my drivers picked something up from Qantas," he said. "But I did hear that Qantas might give their lost property to Mission Australia."

The practice emerged when The Sunday Mail requested information on how many passengers lost items.

Qantas said it was the responsibility of passengers to keep track of their personal items. The airline emphasised its charitable side, saying after four weeks unclaimed items were donated. "There is a set time we allow for passengers to claim their goods," head of corporate communication Olivia Wirth said.

"In Sydney we donate to the Salvation Army and Mission Australia. Each month the amount differs at each port – sometimes it's about 100 items, sometimes enough to fill a van."

When the Salvation Army and Mission Australia denied having recently received donated goods, Qantas said it had been donating the items to other charities.

The airline also confirmed that staff auctions of passengers' lost property occur at various times throughout the year. "Some of our airports conduct staff auctions one or two times per year for unclaimed items with the money raised being donated to a charity that has been set up for terminally ill Qantas staff that can no longer work, or other charitable causes," Ms Wirth said.