Saturday, November 13, 2010

Qantas grounds Perth flight after more engine problems

QANTAS has been involved in yet another mid-air mishap, with passengers on their way to Melbourne from Perth forced to return after engine problems. The flight had to return to Perth Domestic Airport after the crew detected a vibration in the left-hand engine of the Boeing 767. The plane landed safely and the 234 passengers on board would be flown to Melbourne on other Qantas flights.

The incident is the latest in a series of sky-high dramas that have plagued Qantas and seriously damaged its safety reputation and brand.

The airline last week grounded its fleet of six Airbus SAS A380s after an engine in one exploded mid-air over Indonesia on November 4, forcing an emergency landing in Singapore with 466 people on board. A day later, a Qantas 747 jumbo jet was forced to return to Singapore after flames erupted from one of its engines. A third Qantas aircraft made a priority landing at Heathrow Airport in London on November 5 after problems with its hydraulic fuel system.

The Boeing plane involved in the latest incident from Perth had GE engines.

Rolls-Royce, the makers of the A380 engine, was tonight expected to announce it had worked out solutions to the engine problems grounding the six Qantas superjumbos.

Singapore Airlines have also grounded its A380 planes while the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau investigate the explosion over Indonesia.

Qantas has embarked on a series of cost-cutting measures as the airline industry struggles in the wake of the global financial crisis.

It has undertaken massive staff reductions, cut back on customer service and in-flight catering and outsourced its maintenance work offshore as it struggles to retain profits and boost its share price.


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