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Saturday, December 27, 2008

BA and Qantas merger talks fail

British Airways and Qantas today said they had failed to reach agreement on a potential merger.

The pair revealed earlier this month that they were in discussions about joining forces through a dual-listed company structure.

But in a statement today, BA and Qantas said it had not been possible to come to an agreement over the key terms of the merger. They did not provide further details.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

'Engine vibration' grounds Qantas flight

A Qantas flight has landed without incident in the German city of Frankfurt after its crew shut down an engine because of a vibration.

Qantas Flight 31 from Singapore to London diverted to Frankfurt Airport for repairs to the engine, landing about 3.15pm yesterday, a Qantas spokeswoman confirmed.

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Fuel dumped in Qantas emergency landing

The captain of a Qantas 767 flight was forced to dump fuel before making an emergency landing at Sydney Airport on Saturday due to a hydraulic leak in the controls.

It is the third mid-air emergency for the carrier in the past week, but air authorities say there is nothing to suggest any link between the incidents or any lowering of safety standards.

A leak in the wing was detected on the Manila-bound Qantas flight QF 19, a Boeing 767 300 with 200 passengers on board, shortly after take off from Sydney at 1.20pm (AEST), an Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) spokeswoman said.

The captain requested emergency clearance before returning to land safely at 3pm.

"Air traffic controllers received a call from the pilot declaring an emergency and proceeded to give priority clearance for a landing at Sydney," An Air Services Australia spokesman told AAP.

Passengers said the plane remained low in the sky for about five minutes after take-off and dumped fuel over the ocean east of Sydney before circling for more than an hour.

"About five minutes after taking off it was very obvious the plane was very low in the sky. ...It was very strange," a passenger told Fairfax.

"For 45 minutes we did not know what was going on."

The ATSB said the aircraft made a "precautionary return" to Sydney and landed without incident.

Qantas confirmed the leak was not detected before the plane took off.

"On inspection, engineers determined that fluid was coming from the spoiler actuator that was not evident before departure," a Qantas spokeswoman told AAP.

The spoiler is situated on top of the wing to slow the aircraft down. The actuator is a mechanism which moves the spoiler.

"There was no safety issue at any time," the spokeswoman said.

Passengers were transferred to another aircraft which left Sydney for Manila about 5.45pm (AEST).

The ATSB is awaiting a report from Qantas engineers before deciding whether to launch an investigation into the incident.

An ATSB spokeswoman said all backup systems had worked normally.

It comes a week after an explosion blew a hole in a Qantas jet flying from Hong Kong to Melbourne , forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Manila.

On Tuesday a Melbourne bound Boeing 737-800 departed Adelaide at 6.08pm (AEST) and returned 37 minutes later after a door opened during a flight to Melbourne .

Qantas was completing checks on oxygen bottles on its fleet of Boeing 747s on Friday.

A CASA spokesman said there was no evidence of any lowering of safety standards at Qantas and the last audit did not detect any "significant safety issues".


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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Qantas plane makes emergency landing

Australian passengers have told of a terrifying mid-air emergency that left a gaping hole in the side of a Qantas plane, forcing an emergency landing in Manila.

The Qantas Boeing 747, en route from London to Melbourne, via Hong Kong, landed safely on Friday and a "gigantic" hole was discovered in the belly of the plane, near the wing.

Some of the 346 passengers on board told of debris flying through the depressurised cabin, and oxygen masks dropping from the ceiling. Some said the plane had plunged about 20,000 feet after a door "popped".

"There was a terrific boom and bits of wood and debris just flew forward into first (class) and the oxygen masks dropped down," Melbourne woman Dr June Kane told ABC Radio.

"I'm looking at the plane now and ... just forward of the wing, there's a gaping hole from the wing to the underbody," she said, adding that baggage was hanging out.

"It was absolutely terrifying, but I have to say everyone was very calm."

Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon said the flight had "a hole in its fuselage" and was being inspected. None of the passengers nor the plane's 19 crew were hurt, he said.

The Australian Transportation Safety Bureau (ATSB) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) had been notified of the incident, Dixon said.

CASA spokesman Peter Gibson told the ABC that initial reports indicated a problem with air pressure in the cabin.

Manila airport operations officer Ding Lima told local radio the plane lost cabin pressure shortly after takeoff from Hong Kong and the pilot radioed for an emergency landing.

"Upon disembarkation, there were some passengers who vomited. You can see in their faces that they were really scared," he said.

During the emergency part of the plane's flooring gave way, exposing some of the cargo in the hold, he said. Part of the ceiling also collapsed.

Another passenger Brendan McClements, the chief executive of the Victorian Major Events Company, described hearing a big bang as the plane flew out of Hong Kong .

"There was a sort of rapid expulsion of wind. It went out of the plane, the air got sucked out, the oxygen masks dropped down and we put them on," he told AAP from Manila.

"Where I was sitting wasn't ideal, by no means ideal.

"We landed about an hour or so ago, and there was a very large hole that wasn't there when we took off in Hong Kong ."

McClements praised Qantas staff for keeping passengers calm.

"The crew were terrific, they did a great job," he said.

"Everyone gave them a round of applause as we landed."

British man Phil Rescall said he and other passengers realised how lucky they were when they saw the size of the hole in the plane's underbelly just in front of the right wing.

"You see the hole and you realise we were very lucky," he told AFP.

"Some people were crying, some people were pretty shaken when they saw the hole."

Another English passenger, Robin McGeechan, 42, said that despite the bang there was little panic.

"We were told a door had popped. We only realised that there was a great big hole in the plane after we landed," McGeechan said.

McClements said he was glad he didn't see the hole in the plane until after they landed.

"Landing was a good thing," he said.

"The captain flagged that we were going to take a very long, slow landing, so we used the whole runway, the emergency crews were out there to meet us and then they towed us in.

"When we walked out we were able to see the plane from the outside and there was a very large hole.

"I was very happy I saw that when I was on the ground and not when I was in the air."

McClements said the passengers were calm when it happened.

"It was probably an hour out of Hong Kong, it all went bang and whoosh.

"And the oxygen masks dropped down and we tootled off to Manila as quickly as we could.

"It was back behind me, big, loud and noisy and very windy when the cabin presser depressed.

"Obviously when the initial bang happened there were a few looks cast across the aisles and backwards and forwards.

"But once people put their oxygen masks on, and crew did a terrific job of making sure people were calm around us, everyone was very even, everyone was very relaxed, that I saw."

McClements said the plane descended after the bang.

"Someone else used the word plunged, but it was a very even decent to a level, as I understand it, where the cabin pressure was equalised.

"It didn't worry me particularly, it never felt like it was out of control."

He said he thought it had taken another hour or two to reach Manila after that.

"Qantas handled it brilliantly and all in all, I will be on the next plane as soon as they can get one to take me home.

"I don't want to catch a cargo ship or anything like that."


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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Qantas jet evacuated after bomb threat

A bomb threat against a Qantas flight bound for Australia at Los Angeles International Airport overnight was a hoax, the airline says.

Qantas spokesman Lloyd Quartermaine said QF 12 with more than 350 passengers and crew was grounded but after an inspection it had been cleared to continue its journey to Sydney on Saturday night.

"It has been assessed as a hoax, but as a precaution Qantas worked with US authorities to inspect the aircraft so it can resume operation," Mr Quartermaine said.

The flight was supposed to depart Los Angeles at 10am (0300 AEST). The 347 passengers and 20 crew members were boarding at the time of the threat and had to get off, according to an LAX spokeswoman.

Passengers were taken to hotels.

Mr Quartermaine said a new flight had been organised for passengers and would leave Los Angeles at 11pm (1600 AEST) on Saturday.

He said Qantas had been told of the threat by US authorities but refused to comment on the nature of the threat.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said agents searched the plane and the luggage for about six hours but found no explosives.

Detectives are now investigating who made the bomb threat.


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Friday, June 06, 2008

Qantas cuts flights and sacks staff

Qantas has slashed its services to Japan and replaced some of its full service operations to Southeast Asia with Jetstar flights as part of a new cost cutting drive aimed to combat the rise in fuel costs.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Qantas tightens seat belts and cuts capacity by 5% as fuel price continue to fly sky-high

Qantas will slash hundreds of jobs, freeze executive pay, ground aircraft and shut down some routes - and those of its offshoot Jetstar - because of the steep rise in fuel prices.

There will be reduced Jetstar operations at Avalon airport by August and the Melbourne to Uluru and Sydney to Gold Coast routes flown by Qantas would be dropped altogether. In total the moves will cut capacity by 5%.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Passenger planes on go-slow over fuel

Qantas and Jetstar planes have slowed their flying speed in a bid to beat soaring jet fuel costs.

Jetstar has been flying more slowly since last month to conserve fuel, adding several minutes to flights, News Ltd reported on Friday.

A spokesman for Qantas, which owns Jetstar, confirmed its planes had been using variable speed to cut fuel consumption for the past two years.

A Virgin Blue spokeswoman said while it had not altered cruising speeds it was considering slowing its planes during descent.

Jetstar spokesman Simon Westaway said fuel prices had risen by 68 per cent in the past 12 months.

"The challenge for airlines is that fuel costs are at record levels," he told News Ltd.

"We have been conducting a trial where aircraft flights are taking a bit longer and burning less fuel.

"Early indications are that we are seeing positive savings in terms of fuel."

The practice, already used in the US, is expected to save airlines millions of dollars and reduce the upward pressure on airfares.

Qantas on Thursday announced it would increase its international fares by four per cent and domestic fares by three per cent from June 4 on the back of soaring world oil prices, which also forced petrol prices beyond $1.60 this week.


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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Landing drama for Qantas flight

A Qantas flight from Gladstone to Rockhampton in central Queensland was forced to circle for almost an hour after a hydraulics failure.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Indonesian airline wants to fly to Australia

An Indonesian airline with a chequered safety record is looking to launch Australia's fourth low-cost domestic airline, raising a further challenge to Qantas-Jetstar and Virgin Blue's dominance of the market.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Qantas strike set to ruin holiday plans

Industrial action planned by about 1,700 Qantas engineers could throw new year holiday plans into disarray for thousands of Australian travellers. (page not found)

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Tiger launch marred by spat with Qantas

The launch of new budget carrier Tiger Airways was marred today by a spat with Qantas over services into Alice Springs.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jetstar muscles up for air bout

QANTAS has unveiled an aggressive growth strategy for its Jetstar subsidiary after placing an order that will more than quadruple the budget carrier's short-haul fleet by 2014.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Jetstar to battle with Qantas on European routes

Jetstar plans to fly to destinations in Europe previously abandoned by Qantas but could also go head-to-head with its parent on existing routes by offering fares of $1000 or lower.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Qantas to seek compo for Boeing 787 delays

Qantas will seek compensation from Boeing after the aircraft maker announced a six month delay in the delivery of the initial order of 15 787 Dreamliners.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sharp turn for Qantas on NZ flights

Qantas is attempting to loosen Air New Zealand's stranglehold on the New Zealand domestic market with a multi million dollar investment to begin next month.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Qantas inspecting turboprops

Qantas is inspecting but not grounding a type of turboprop aircraft it flies which have been involved in two accidents in Europe this week. Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier has recommended Q-400 planes which have completed more than 10,000 flights should be grounded worldwide.


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Friday, August 17, 2007

Jetstar pushes Qantas to a $1b profit

Qantas yesterday gave a billion reasons why its 141,000 shareholders rather than a five-strong group of private equity players should own the Flying Kangaroo.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Qantas may face big US fines

Qantas has admitted it may have to shell out far more than the $47 million set aside to pay potential fines and damages that could arise from a United States price fixing investigation.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Qantas to spin off frequent flyer arm

Qantas Airways will spin off its $3 billion-plus frequent flyer operation, following in the path of Air Canada which transformed its equivalent arm into a company worth more than the airline itself.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Qantas confirms restructure plan

Qantas is set to be restructured in a bid to deliver gains for shareholders and its chief executive has denied changes are being made to get around investor limits on the carrier's stock.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Qantas launches new international passenger class and logo

Qantas has launched a new class for economy passengers travelling on long-haul flights and revealed a new version of its iconic flying kangaroo logo.

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Australia's Jetstar eyes major Airbus order

Qantas Airways Ltd's low-cost subsidiary, Jetstar, said on Tuesday it was looking at making a large order for Airbus A320 aircraft to meet its growth plans for Australia and Asia.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Qantas' new logo revealed

Qantas' new logo has been revealed, with some subtle but clear differences to the existing tail design, in use for more than 20 years.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

Qantas-Boeing deal may extend routes

Qantas has flagged the possibility of establishing long-haul operations through its two Asian budget franchises - Singapore's Jetstar Asia and Vietnam's Pacific Airlines - to complement the already aggressive international expansion of Jetstar.

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Qantas flexes muscles over Boeing 787

Qantas is set to become the world's biggest airline operator of Boeing 787 Dreamliners and a major player in shaping the future of aviation after ordering as many as 40 more planes with a pre-discount market value of up to $US8 billion.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Qantas to fly to South America for first time

Qantas will start flying to South America for the first time with a service to Santiago, Chile commencing in November 2008.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Heads to roll in the wake of Qantas sale fiasco

Qantas shareholders now regard the position of chairwoman Margaret Jackson and her fellow directors as untenable after the failed $11.1 billion takeover bid ended in humiliation yesterday.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Qantas board in emergency meeting

The consortium pursuing an $11.1 billion takeover of Qantas has said it will try to keep the deal alive after receiving a late acceptance from a major shareholder.

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Monday, April 30, 2007

Investors walk from Qantas bid

Qantas shareholders are deserting the $11.1 billion takeover bid, with acceptances for the $5.45 per share offer dropping from 27.8 per cent to 25.5 per cent.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Qantas bid to extend Jetstar

Qantas has confirmed its agreement in buying a 30 per cent stake in Vietnamese budget carrier Pacific Airlines, with hopes to rebrand the new acquisition as Jetstar.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Runway cleared for Qantas sale

Airline Partners Australia is today expected to lower the acceptances level it needs to gain control of Qantas.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Qantas bid gains altitude with debt deal

The banks behind Airline Partners Australia's $11 billion offer for Qantas have agreed to refinance the takeover bid so APA can take control of the airline without a 100 per cent buyout.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Shareholder appears to ground $11bn Qantas bid

A major stakeholder has rejected the $11 billion private equity-backed consortium bid for Qantas.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Qantas using Changi prisoners to clean planes says Union

Qantas is employing prisoners from Singapore's Changi Prison to clean its flight decks ahead of safety inspections, according to an engineers union.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Costello clears Qantas sale

The Australian government has approved the $11 billion takeover of Qantas after its buyer guaranteed Australian jobs and regional routes.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Qantas in $200m price fix case

A $200 million class action will be brought against Qantas, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand, JAL and British Airways for an alleged global price fixing cartel in the international freight industry.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Qantas reduces fuel surcharge

Qantas passengers will benefit from the 25 per cent drop in jet fuel prices, with the airline announcing today that it would pass on fuel savings to its customers on Australian and New Zealand flights, and some international flights.

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Government yet to decide on Qantas

Australia's acting Prime Minister Mark Vaile has said that no decision has been made on whether the Government will attach specific conditions to the $11 billion takeover bid for Qantas.

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