Monday, August 18, 2008

Qantas - Mechanical and Technical Problems


Within a span of 3 1/2 weeks Qantas series of woes seems unending. But let's hope it will immediately. When it rains, it pours.

The planes involved are Boeing 767 and 747 (except 17th Aug not identified, 7th Aug and 28th July) and their average age are about 15 1/2 years old. No doubt the planes can be operated even beyond 25 years as I have taken some smaller Boeing planes in Indonesia that is about 26 years old.

But the hallmark of a good airline is re-fleeting, meaning investing in new planes and retiring/selling the old ones. Look at AirAsia, most of their old planes are gone and replaced by brand-new Airbus 320. Even Cebu Pacific (Philippines) who has a longer history than AirAsia has planes with an average age of 1.7 years .

The other hallmark is maintenance which is above board and transparent with external auditors regulating and monitoring the work. This I am sure Qantas has and if there are any blips it must be rectified pronto.

In the meantime pride of the nation may be losing even their most loyal passengers to other airlines. The main beneficiary will be SQ.

Let's check out this long list of unsavory record of Qantas the last 3 weeks:

17th Aug
Flight QF571 from Sydney to Perth diverted to Adelaide after four of seven toilets on board stopped flushing an hour into the flight. It was later discovered the toilets had not been emptied at Sydney airport after its previous flight QF4.

16th Aug
A flight QF26 from Los Angeles to Auckland was delayed by almost 26 hours due to two separate problems with the aircraft. The flight, due to depart at 9:05pm on Friday finally left at 10:30pm the following day, and was the second Qantas flight delayed due to mechanical faults on the weekend.

16th Aug
Qantas QF2 has been forced to delay a Sydney-bound flight from London by more than 15 hours because of a problem with the plane's rudder.

15th Aug
An access panel has fallen from a jumbo jet as it flew from Melbourne to Singapore.

15th Aug
A Qantas flight from Brisbane to Melbourne was delayed by more than half an hour due to a technical problem.

13th Aug
On Wednesday night, a Qantas QF460 experienced a hydraulic failure which affected the plane's steering as it landed at Sydney airport. The plane left a trail of hydraulic fluid as it touched down on its way from Melbourne, forcing the closure of the runway for 40 minutes while the spill was mopped up.

7th Aug
A Qantas jet grounded in Melbourne yesterday because of noise from an air-conditioning fault.

2nd Aug
Qantas QF19 flight made an emergency landing at Sydney Airport after discovering a hydraulic fluid leak. It was the third Qantas plane in just over a week to make an emergency landing because of a mid-air fault.

July 28
A Melbourne-bound Qantas jet QF692 has been forced to return to Adelaide's airport after a door above one of its wheels failed to close, according to reports in the Australian media.

July 25
An explosion ripped a hole in the fuselage of a Qantas jet QF30 en route from Hong Kong to Melbourne, forcing an emergency landing at Manila.

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