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definition - Qantas

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Qantas

                   
Qantas Airways
Red triangle with kangaroo
IATA
QF
ICAO
QFA
Callsign
QANTAS
Founded 16 November 1920 (1920-11-16) (91 years ago)
Hubs
Secondary hubs
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Qantas Frequent Flyer
Airport lounge
  • Chairmans Lounge
  • The Qantas Club
Alliance Oneworld
Subsidiaries
Fleet size 149[1]
Destinations 41 (20 domestic, 21 international)
Company slogan The Spirit of Australia
Headquarters Botany Bay, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia[2]
Key people
Revenue decrease A$13.772 billion (2010)[3] (Qantas Group)
Operating income increase A$253 million (2010)[3]
Profit increase A$249 million (2010) after tax[3]
Total assets decrease A$19.91 billion (2010)[3]
Total equity increase A$5.981 billion (2010)[3]
Website www.qantas.com.au

Qantas Airways Limited (play /ˈkwɒntəs/) (ASXQAN) is the flag carrier of Australia. The name was originally "QANTAS", an acronym for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services". Nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo", the airline is based in Sydney, New South Wales, with its main hub at Sydney Airport. It is Australia's largest airline, the oldest continuously operated airline in the world and the second oldest in the world overall.[4] Qantas headquarters are located in the Qantas Centre in the Mascot suburb of the City of Botany Bay.

Qantas still retains a 65 percent share of the Australian domestic market and carries 18.7% of all passengers travelling in and out of Australia.[5]

Contents

  History

Qantas was founded in Winton, Queensland on 16 November 1920 as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited.[6] The airline's first aircraft was an Avro 504K. The airline flew internationally from May 1935, when it commenced service from Darwin, Northern Territory to Singapore. In June 1959 Qantas entered the jet age when the first Boeing 707–138 was delivered.[7]

  Company affairs and identity

  Profits – before tax

FY 06/07 $1 billion. Revenue $15 billion[8]
FY 07/08 $1.4 billion. Revenue $16 billion[9]
FY 08/09 $181 million. Revenue $14.6 billion[10] [GFC impact]
FY 09/10 $377 million. Revenue $13.8 billion[11]
FY 10/11 $552 million. Revenue $14.9 billion[12]

  Headquarters

Qantas headquarters are located in the Qantas Centre in the Mascot suburb of the City of Botany Bay, Sydney, New South Wales.[2]

In 1920 Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd had its headquarters in Winton, Queensland. In 1921 the head office moved to Longreach, Queensland. In 1930 the head office moved to Brisbane. In 1957 a head office, Qantas House, opened along Hunter Street in Sydney.[13] In the 1970s a new A$50 million headquarters, consisting of twin skyscrapers, was being built in Sydney and expected to take one city block. The first and largest tower had an expected completion time in 1973.[14]

  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders initiatives

  Boeing 747-400 on final approach to 27L at London Heathrow Airport

Qantas, through its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programme, has some links with the Aboriginal Australian community. As of 2007, the company has run the programme for more than ten years and 1–2% of its staff are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. Qantas employs a full time Diversity Coordinator, who is responsible for the programme.[15]

Qantas has also bought and donated some Aboriginal Art. In 1993, the airline bought a painting — Honey Ant and Grasshopper Dreaming — from the Central Australian desert region. As of 2007, this painting is on permanent loan to Yiribana at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. In 1996, Qantas donated five extra bark paintings to the gallery. Qantas has also sponsored and supported Aboriginal artists in the past.[15]

  Promotional activities

Qantas used a small promotional animation on its website to announce it will offer in-flight internet services on its fleet of A380s.[16]Qantas' present long-running advertising campaign features renditions by children's choirs of Peter Allen's "I Still Call Australia Home", set to footage of Australian scenery. A much earlier campaign aimed at American television audiences featured an Australian koala. Qantas is the main and shirt sponsor of the "Qantas Wallabies", the Australian national Rugby Union team. They also sponsor and have shirt rights to the Socceroos, Australia's national soccer team. Qantas is now the sponsor for the Formula One Australian Grand Prix. It last sponsored the Australian Grand Prix in 2001. For many years between 1994 and 2004, Qantas sponsorship logos appeared at the credits for Neighbours, Wheel Of Fortune, Hey Hey It's Saturday (as its sponsor), originally under the banner of We choose to fly.... These replaced earlier sponsorship under the Australian Airlines brand in 1994. On 26 December 2011 Qantas signed a four year deal with the Cricket Australia will now provide aerial services to the team.[citation needed]

  Airline subsidiaries

Qantas has operated a number of passenger airline subsidiaries since inception including:[citation needed]

Qantas also operates a freight service under the name Qantas Freight.

  Predecessors

Qantas' domestic "mainline" operation was originally established as Trans Australia Airlines in the 1940s and renamed Australian Airlines in 1986. Australian Airlines was bought by Qantas in 1992 and operated as a separate airline until 1996, when all domestic flights were rebranded as Qantas.[citation needed]

  Fundamental structural change

In August 2011 the company announced that due to financial losses and a decline in market share, major structural changes would be made. Up to 1,000 jobs will be lost in Australia and a new Asia-based premium airline will be set up operating under a different name. It will also launch a budget airline, called Jetstar Japan, in partnership with Japan Airlines and Mitsubishi Corporation. This change has become necessary due to the fact that airlines such as Emirates, Singapore Airlines etc. have equal or better service at a more competitive price[citation needed]. This problem with competition has arisen since deregulation of Australian routes (etc.) during the mid-late 1980s.[18] Included in the changes are the cessation of services to London via Hong Kong and Bangkok, Qantas will operate to these cities with onward flights to London via Oneworld partner British Airways under a code-share service.[19]

Qantas is attempting to turn around international operations which lost about A$200 million ($209 million) for the year 2010/2011 ended at June 2011, so on March 26, 2012 Qantas announced to set up Jetstar Hong Kong with China Eastern Airlines Corporation which will begin flights in 2013. No budget carrier has a hub at Hong Kong Airport with 54 million passengers in 2011.[20]

  Destinations

  Qantas destinations (including Buenos Aires and San Francisco which are both terminated and not including Dallas at the time)

Qantas flies to 20 domestic destinations and 21 international destinations in 14 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania excluding the destinations served by its subsidiaries. In the entire Qantas group it serves 60 domestic and 27 international destinations. Domestically, Qantas advertises all direct flights between the mainland state capital cities Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, and the national capital Canberra as Qantas CityFlyer.

Qantas operates flightseeing charters to Antarctica on behalf of Croydon Travel. It first flew Antarctic flightseeing trips in 1977.[21] They were suspended for a number of years due to the crash of Air New Zealand Flight 901 on Mount Erebus in 1979. Qantas restarted the flights in 1994.[22] Although these flights do not touch down, they require specific polar operations and crew training due to factors like sector whiteout which contributed to the Air New Zealand disaster.

  Partnerships and codeshare agreements

Qantas has codeshare agreements or partnerships with the following Oneworld members:


Outside Oneworld, Qantas also exchanges codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[23]

  Fleet

Qantas current fleet

An Airbus A380-800 at Singapore Changi Airport. (2011)
A Boeing 747-400 at Singapore Changi Airport. (2011)
An Airbus A330-300 at Singapore Changi Airport. (2011)
A Boeing 737-800 at Melbourne Airport. (2010)
A Boeing 767-300ER at Sydney Airport. (2005)

As of May 2012 the Qantas mainline fleet consists of the following aircraft:[1][25]

Qantas Fleet *
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers Notes
F J W Y
Total
Airbus A330-200 8 3[26] 36 199 235
36 201 237
36 265 301
42 268 310
Airbus A330-300 10 30 267 297
Airbus A380-800 12 8 14 72 32 332 450 Replacing: Boeing 747–400 and −400ER.[citation needed] Next two now not to be delivered until at least 2014; last six deferred until retirement of 747-400ERs starting in 2018[27][28]
Boeing 737-400 16 20 120 140 phasing out from 2013
16 126 142
12 132 144
8 138 146
4 144 148
150 150[29]
Boeing 737-800 54 19[26] 12 156 168 Orders replacing 737-400[citation needed]
Boeing 747-400 20 14 66 40 187 307 Phasing out from 2013[citation needed]
Replacement aircraft: Airbus A380 and Boeing 787[citation needed]
14 52 32 255 353
56 40 275 371
56 356 412
Boeing 747-400ER 6 14 66 40 187 307 Sole operator of this version of the 747[citation needed]
To be replaced by A380s from 2018[30]
Boeing 767-300ER 23 24 204 228 Phasing out from 2012[citation needed]
Replacement aircraft: Boeing 787[citation needed]
30 214 244
30 224 254
Boeing 787–9 35[26][31]
275
Replacing Boeing 767-300ER and 747-400[citation needed]
Total 149 65

* First Class and Premium Economy offered on select aircraft.

As of May 2012 Qantas and its subsidiaries operate 300 aircraft, which includes 64 aircraft by Jetstar Airways, 58 by the various QantasLink-branded airlines, eight by Jetconnect, 13 by Network Aviation, four by Express Freighters Australia and four by Qantas Freight.[1][25][32][33][34][35][36]

  Wunala Dreaming
  Yananyi Dreaming

Qantas has named its aircraft since 1926. Themes have included Greek gods, stars, people in Australian aviation history, and Australian birds. Since 1959, the majority of Qantas aircraft have been named after Australian cities. The Airbus A380 series, the flagship of the airline, is named after Australian aviation pioneers, with the first A380 named Nancy-Bird Walton.[citation needed]

Qantas has one aircraft painted in an Australian Aboriginal art scheme: Yananyi Dreaming (Boeing 737-800 VH-VXB). This 737 carries a striking, colourful livery, designed by Australian Aborigines.[37]. (Boeing 747-400ER VH-OEJ), wore the "Wunala Dreaming" paint scheme, but it was removed in January 2012 and has since been revised into the current mainline QANTAS livery. There was previously a third livery Nalanji Dreaming (Boeing 747–300 VH-EBU), but the aircraft was sold for spare parts in 2007. Qantas has stated that a new aboriginal livery will be applied to one of its aircraft by the end of 2012.

  Qantas historical fleet

First aircraft

Qantas' first aircraft was an Avro 504K (a replica of which can be seen at Sydney Airport's Qantas Domestic Terminal 3 on departures level) with a 100 horsepower (74 kW) water-cooled Sunbeam Dyak engine. By 1921 it also operated a Royal Aircraft Factory BE2E with a 90 horsepower (67 kW) air-cooled engine.[citation needed]

During World War II

During World War II Qantas operated flying boats on the Australia-England route in cooperation with BOAC. After Italy entered the war in June 1940, this became the Horseshoe Route between Sydney and Durban in South Africa with the South Africa - UK stage being by sea. This service was a vital line of communication between Australia and the United Kingdom.[38]

Lockheed Constellation era

After World War II Qantas modernised its fleet with Lockheed Constellation aircraft. By 1956 the airline was operating 34 propeller-driven aircraft. Qantas carried a record number of passengers to the XVl Olympic Games in Melbourne, and also carried the Olympic flame[39] into the Southern Hemisphere for the first time on its longest ever trip, from Athens to Darwin.[40]

Jet era

Qantas entered the Jet Age in July 1959 with Boeing 707 services to the USA. The service was extended to London (via New York). Sydney–London services (via India) began in October 1959.[41] With the certification of the turbofan engine, Qantas modified its existing 707–138 fleet with the turbofans, naming its Boeing 707 aircraft V-Jets, from the Latin vannus, meaning “fan” as commonly accepted, but really standing for “thing that blows against the grain”.[42] In total, Qantas took delivery of seven Boeing 707–138 aircraft, and a further six −138Bs.

By the 1970s Qantas had acquired Boeing 747 aircraft,[43] which strengthened its long haul fleet. The fleet as of 1970 is listed below.

Qantas Airways fleet in 1970[44]
Aircraft Total Orders Notes
BAC/Sud Concorde 0 0 Four on option
Boeing SST 0 0 Six on option
Boeing 707–300 21 0
Boeing 747–200 0 4
Douglas DC-3 2 0
Douglas DC-4 2 0
Hawker Siddeley HS 125 2 0 Used for pilot training
Lockheed L-188 Electra 1 0
Total 28 4

  Services

  In-flight entertainment

Qantas has several in-flight entertainment systems installed on its aircraft. Across the fleet, the in-flight experience is referred to as "On:Q". Apart from the QantasLink-operated Boeing 717s and Dash 8s, which do not have either audio or video entertainment options,[45] every Qantas aircraft has some form of video audio entertainment.

  iQ entertainment system on the A330

"iQ" is featured in all classes of the Airbus A380, as well as newer Airbus A330-200s. It will be implemented on new Boeing 737-800s,[46] and Boeing 787s when they enter service.[47][48] This audio video on demand (AVOD) experience is based on the Panasonic Avionics system and features expanded entertainment options, touch screens, new communications related features such as Wi-Fi and mobile phone functionality, as well as increased support for electronics (such as USB and iPod connectivity)[49].

The "Total Entertainment System" by Rockwell Collins[50] is featured on all Boeing 747–400, Airbus A330-300 and international-configuration Airbus A330-200 aircraft. This AVOD system includes personal LCD screens in all classes, located in the seat back for economy and business class, and in the armrest for premium economy and first class.

The other entertainment system is the Mainscreen System, where video screens are the only available form of video entertainment; movies are shown on the screens for lengthier flights, or TV programmes on shorter flights. A news telecast will usually feature at the start of the flight. Audio options are less varied than on iQ or the Total Entertainment System.

The Mainscreen System is installed on all Boeing 737-400s,[51] domestic configured Boeing 737-800s (delivered before 2011)[52] as well the economy and most business class sections on Boeing 767s.[53] International-configured Boeing 767 aircraft have Mainscreen throughout the cabin however also offer a 10-channel looped personal video system in Business Class.[54]

The Australian Nine Network provides a news bulletin for Qantas entitled Nine's Qantas Inflight News. This news bulletin includes all the latest news, sport, finance and weather details presented by Amber Higlett. The bulletin is the same broadcast as Nine's Early Morning News.

The in-flight magazine, titled "Qantas The Australian Way',' is also available as a free download for the iPad.[55]

Boeing's cancellation of the Connexion by Boeing system caused concerns that in-flight internet would not be available on next-generation aircraft such as Qantas' fleet of Airbus A380s and Boeing 787s. However, Qantas announced in July 2007 that all service classes in its fleet of A380s would have wireless internet access as well as seat-back access to e-mail and cached web browsing. Certain elements would also be retrofitted into existing Boeing 747-400s.[56] The in-flight entertainment system indicates that Internet access is provided by OnAir.[57]

In April 2007, Qantas announced a trial for use of mobile telephones with AeroMobile, during domestic services for three months on a Boeing 767. During the trial, passengers were allowed to send and receive text messages and emails, but were not able to make or receive calls.[58]

Qantas moved from an in-house Passenger Service System known as QUBE (Qantas Universal Business Environment) to an outsourced solution provided by Amadeus in late 2000. In September 2007 Qantas announced a ten year extension of the outsourcing agreement.[59] In addition to using Amadeus' Altéa platform for reservation and inventory management Qantas extended usage of the system by adopting the departure control module in February 2008.[60]

  Cabin

  First class

  Qantas First Class suite on the A380

First class is offered only on the Boeing 747–400 and Airbus A380.[61]

On the Boeing 747–400, first class is in the form of flat bed sleeping pods with 79 in seat pitch with each seat being 22 in wide. It folds flat to form a 6 ft 6 in (198 cm) fully flat bed. Other features include a 26 cm (10 in) touch screen monitor with 400 AVOD programs and personal 110 V AC power outlets in every seat. Qantas offers 14 seats on all the 747-400s equipped with first class.

On the Airbus A380,[62] Qantas offers 14 individual suites. The seats rotate, facing forward for takeoff, but rotating to the side for sleeping, with 83.5 in seat pitch (extending to a 212 cm fully flat bed) and a width of 29 in. Each suite has a 43 cm (17 in) wide screen HD monitor with 1000 AVOD programs. In addition to the 110 V AC power outlets offered on the 747-400, USB ports are also offered for connectivity. Passengers are also able to make use of the on-board business lounge on the upper deck.

Complimentary access to either the first class or business class lounges (or affiliated lounges) is offered.

  Business class

Business class is offered on all Qantas mainline passenger aircraft.

  Qantas long-haul Business Class SkyBed seats

International Business Class is available on the Boeing 747, International Airbus A330-200s, the A330-300 and the Airbus A380. On the Boeing 747, seating is in a 2-3-2 configuration on the main deck and a 2–2 configuration on the upper deck. The A330 features a 2-2-2 configuration. There are two versions of what Qantas call it's Skybed: the lie flat business class seat. Older versions of the lie-flat Skybeds feature 60 in of seat pitch and 21.5 in width, however passengers sleep at a distinct slope to the cabin floor. Later versions of the Skybed have an 80 inch pitch, and lie fully horizontal.[63] 747s and A330s features a 26 cm (10 in) touch screen monitor with 400 AVOD programs. Qantas' new international business class product is featured on the Airbus A380. It features 72 fully flat Skybed seats with 80 in seat pitch (converting to a 200 cm long bed). These seats are located on the upper-deck in a 2-2-2 configuration in 2 separate cabins. features include a 30 cm touch screen monitor with 1000 AVOD programs and an on-board lounge. On the internationally configured Boeing 767, seating is in a 1-2-2 configuration, which include a 13 cm monitor with 10 channels of video and 12 channels of audio.

Complimentary access to the Qantas business class lounge (or affiliated lounges) is also offered.[64]

  Premium economy class

Premium economy class is only available on Airbus A380 and certain Boeing 747–400 aircraft. It has a seat pitch of 38 in on the Boeing 747 & it ranges between 38–42 in on the Airbus A380, with a width of 19.5 in. On the Boeing 747, it is configured in a 2-4-2 seating arrangement around the middle of the main deck, whilst it is in a 2-3-2 at the rear of the upper deck on the A380. All A380s have 32 seats, and a walk up snack bar.[65]

Qantas premium economy is presented as a lighter business class product rather than most other airlines' premium economy, which is often presented as a higher economy class, however Qantas premium economy does not offer access to premium lounges, and meals are only a slightly uprated version of economy class meals.[66]

  Qantas long-haul Economy cabin

  Economy class

Economy class is available on all Qantas mainline passenger aircraft.

Seat pitch is usually 31 inches (790 mm) and seat width ranges from 17 inches (430 mm) to 17.5 inches (440 mm). Layouts are 3–3 on the 737, 2-3-2 on the 767,[67] 2-4-2 on the A330 and 3-4-3 on the 747. On the A380, the layout is 3-4-3 and there are 4 self-service snack bars located in between cabins.[68]

  Apps

Qantas has smartphone apps for the iOS[69] and Windows Phone 7[70] platforms, however the iOS app is mainly for members of its Qantas Frequent Flyer program to manage their points whereas the Windows Phone 7 app provides mobile checkin and boarding pass, live flight updates and information on airport lounges.

  Awards

  Service Awards

  • Skytrax Airline of the Year — listed in the top five airlines in the world for five consecutive years.[71]
  • Skytrax Best Airline Australia – 2005, 2006, 2008[72]
  • Skytrax Best Regional Airline Australia – 2006, 2008[72]

  Entertainment

  • WAEA Avion awards Best Overall Inflight Entertainment – 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006
  • Inflight entertainment guide – 2005, 2006
  • WAEA Avion awards Best Entertainment for Inseat Systems – 2006

  Wine awards

  • Best First Class Red – 2009 Cellars in the Sky Awards
  • Best First Class Fortified – 2009 Cellars in the Sky Awards
  • Best First Class Cellar – 2009 Cellars in the Sky Awards
  • Best Presented Wine List – 2009 Cellars in the Sky Awards
  • Best First and Business Class Wine List – 2005 cellars in the Sky Awards.
  • Most Original First Class Wine List – 2007, 2008 cellars in the Sky Awards
  • Best First Class – 2007 Cellars in the sky awards
  • Best Business Class Sparkling Award – 2007 cellars in the Sky Awards
  • Best Consistency of Wines across Business and First – 2007 Cellars in the Sky Awards

  Design awards

  • 2009 Australian International Design Award of the Year – A380 Economy Seat[73]
  • 2010 – The Chicago Anthenaeum’s Annual Good Design Awards — A380 First Class Suite

  Qantas Frequent Flyer

Qantas Frequent Flyer logo.svg

The Qantas Frequent Flyer programme is aimed at rewarding customer loyalty. Points are accrued based on distance flown, with bonuses that vary by travel class. Points can also be earned on other Oneworld airlines as well as through other non-airline partners. Points can be redeemed for flights or upgrades on flights operated by Qantas, Oneworld airlines, and other partners. Other partners include credit cards,[74] car rental companies, hotels and many others. To join the programme, passengers living in Australia or New Zealand pay a one-off joining fee, and then become a Bronze Frequent Flyer (residents of other countries may join without a fee). All accounts remain active as long as there is points activity once every eighteen months. Flights with Qantas and selected partner airlines earn Status Credits — and accumulation of these allows progression to Silver Status (Oneworld Ruby), Gold Status (Oneworld Sapphire) and Platinum Status (Oneworld Emerald).[75]

Qantas has faced criticism regarding availability of seats for members redeeming points.[76] In 2004, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission directed Qantas to provide greater disclosure to members regarding the availability of frequent flyer seats.[77]

In March 2008, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase suggested that the Qantas frequent-flyer program could be worth A$2 billion (US$1.9 billion), representing more than a quarter of the total market value of Qantas.[78]

On 1 July 2008, a major overhaul of the programme was announced. The two key new features of the programme were Any Seat rewards, in which members could now redeem any seat on an aircraft, rather than just selected seats — at a price. The second new feature was Points Plus Pay, which has enabled members to use a combination of cash and points to redeem an award. Additionally, the Frequent Flyer store was also expanded to include a greater range of products and services.[79] Announcing the revamp, Qantas confirmed it would be seeking to raise about A$1 billion in 2008 by selling up to 40% of the frequent flyer program.[80] However, in September 2008, it stated it would defer the float, citing volatile market conditions.[81]

  The Qantas Club

Qantas Club logo.svg

The Qantas Club is the business-class airline lounge for Qantas with airport locations around Australia and the world. The Qantas Club offers membership by paid subscription (one year, two years or four years)[82] or by achievement of Gold or Platinum frequent flyer status. Benefits of membership include lounge access, priority check-in, priority luggage handling, increased luggage allowances.

Facilities at the Qantas Club vary by lounge, but typically include a Business Lounge with workstations and internet access as well as copying and fax facilities, showers, and a bar.[83]

Lounges also include power points, free local-call telephones, television, and quiet areas. As of April 2007, wireless internet access is now provided free.

Some international lounges were upgraded in 2007. New First and Business lounges opened in Bangkok and Los Angeles, along with completely new First Class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne, designed by Marc Newson.

  Lounge access

Members are permitted to enter domestic Qantas Clubs when flying on Qantas or Jetstar flights along with one guest who need not be travelling. Internationally, the guest must be travelling with the member.[84] When flying with American Airlines, members have access to Admirals Club lounges and when flying on British Airways, members have access to British Airways' Terraces Lounge.[85]

Platinum Frequent Flyers had previously been able to access The Qantas Club in Australian domestic terminals at any time, regardless of whether they were flying that day.[86] Travellers holding Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status are also allowed in Qantas Club lounges worldwide.

  Airline incidents

  Aircraft incidents and accidents

It is often claimed, most notably in the 1988 movie Rain Man, that Qantas has never had an aircraft crash.[87] While it is true that the company has neither lost a jet airliner nor had any jet fatalities, it had eight fatal accidents and an aircraft shot down between 1927 and 1945, with the loss of 63 people. Half of these accidents and the shoot-down occurred during World War II, when the Qantas aircraft were operating on behalf of Allied military forces. Post-war, it lost another two aircraft with the loss of 17 lives. To this date, the last fatal accident suffered by Qantas was in 1951.

Since the end of World War II, the following accidents and incidents have occurred:

  • On 7 April 1949, Avro Lancastrian VH-EAS swung on landing at Dubbo during a training flight, causing the gear to collapse. The aircraft was destroyed by fire, but the crew evacuated safely.[88]
  • On 16 July 1951, de Havilland Australia DHA-3 Drover VH-EBQ crashed off the coast of New Guinea (in the Huon Gulf near the mouth of the Markham River) after the centre engine's propeller failed. The pilot and the six passengers on board were killed. To date, this was the last fatal accident suffered by Qantas.[89]
  • On 24 August 1960, Lockheed Super Constellation VH-EAC crashed on take-off at Mauritius en route to the Cocos Islands. The take-off was aborted following an engine failure, the aircraft ran off the runway, and was destroyed by fire. There were no fatalities.[90]
  • On 23 September 1999, Boeing 747–400 VH-OJH, overran the runway while landing at Bangkok, Thailand, during a heavy thunderstorm. The aircraft came to a stop on a golf course, but without fatalities. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau criticised numerous inadequacies in Qantas' operational and training processes.[91]
  • On 25 July 2008, Boeing 747–400 VH-OJK, en route from Hong Kong to Melbourne operating as Qantas Flight 30, suffered a rapid decompression[92] and made an emergency landing in Manila after an explosion. There were no injuries. The ATSB officially stated that the incident was caused by the failure of an oxygen tank.[93][94][95]
  • On 7 October 2008, Airbus A330-300 VH-QPA, travelling from Singapore to Perth as Qantas Flight 72, suffered a rapid loss of altitude in two sudden uncommanded pitch down manoeuvres causing serious injuries while 80 nautical miles (150 km) from Learmonth, Australia. The aircraft safely landed in Learmonth, with 14 people requiring transportation by air ambulance to Perth. Another 30 people also required hospital treatment, while an additional 30 people had injuries not requiring hospital treatment.[96] Initial investigations identified an inertial reference system fault in the Number-1 Air Data Inertial Reference Unit as the likely origin of the event. On receiving false indication of a very high angle of attack, the flight control systems commanded a pitch down movement, reaching a maximum of 8.5 degrees pitch down.[97]
  • On 4 November 2010 Qantas Flight 32, an Airbus A380 named "Nancy-Bird Walton" and registered VH-OQA, fitted with four Trent 972 engines manufactured by Rolls-Royce, suffered an uncontained turbine disc failure of its left inboard engine shortly after taking off from Singapore Changi Airport. The flight returned to Singapore and landed safely, and all 433 passengers and 26 crew on board survived uninjured. Cowling parts of the failed engine fell over Batam Island, Indonesia.[98][99][100]

  Extortion attempts

On 26 May 1971, Qantas received a call from a "Mr. Brown" claiming that there was a bomb planted on a Hong Kong-bound jet and demanding $500,000 in unmarked $20 notes. He was treated seriously when he directed police to an airport locker where a functional bomb was found. Arrangements were made to pick up the money in front of the head office of the airline in the heart of the Sydney business district. Qantas paid the money and it was collected, after which Mr. Brown called again, advising the 'bomb on the plane' story was a hoax. The initial pursuit of the perpetrator was bungled by the New South Wales Police Force who, despite having been advised of the matter from the time of the first call, failed to establish adequate surveillance of the pick-up of the money. Directed not to use their radios (for fear of being "overheard"), the police were unable to communicate adequately.[101] Tipped off by a still-unidentified informer, the police arrested an Englishman, Peter Macari,[102] finding more than $138,000 hidden in an Annandale property. Convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison, Macari served nine years before being deported to Britain. Over $224,000 has still not been found. The 1985 telemovie Call Me Mr. Brown, directed by Scott Hicks and produced by Terry Jennings, relates to this incident.

On 4 July 1997, a copycat extortion attempt was thwarted by police and Qantas security staff.[103]

  Sex discrimination controversy

In November 2005, it was revealed that Qantas has a policy of not seating adult male passengers next to unaccompanied children. This led to accusations of discrimination. The policy came to light following an incident in 2004 when Mark Wolsay, who was seated next to a young boy on a Qantas flight in New Zealand, was asked to change seats with a female passenger. A steward informed him that "it was the airline's policy that only women were allowed to sit next to unaccompanied children".[104]

Cameron Murphy of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties president criticised the policy and stated that "there was no basis for the ban". He said it was wrong to assume that all adult males posed a danger to children.[105] The policy has also been criticised for failing to take female abusers into consideration.[106]

  Price fixing

A Class Action law suit brought by Melbourne Law firm Maurice Blackburn alleging price fixing on air cargo freight was commenced in 2006. The lawsuit was settled early in 2011 with Qantas agreeing to pay in excess of $21 million dollars to settle the case – http://www.eyefortransport.com/content/qantas-settles-us-class-action-lawsuit

Qantas has pleaded guilty to participating in a cartel that fixed the price of air cargo. Qantas Airways Ltd. was fined $155,000 CAD after it admitted that its freight division fixed surcharges on cargo exported on certain routes from Canada between May 2002 and February 2006.[107] The following article cites many of the price fixing fines Qantas has incurred – http://www.smh.com.au/business/qantas-to-pay-48m-price-fixing-fine-20110318-1bzox.html which include In July 2007, Qantas pleaded guilty in the United States to price fixing and was fined a total of $61 million dollars through the Department of Justice investigation. The executive in charge, Bruce McCaffrey was jailed for 6 months – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-07-29/former-qantas-executive-jailed-over-price-fixing/456540 Other Qantas executives were granted immunity after the airline agreed to co-operate with authorities – http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdaily/2008/05/former-qantas-e.html In 2008 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission fined the airline $20 million for breaches of the acts associated with protecting consumers In November 2010 Qantas was fined 8.8 million Euros for its part in an air cargo cartel involving up to 11 other airlines. Qantas was fined $6.5 million NZ in April 2011 when it pleaded guilty in the New Zealand High Court to the cartel operation;

  2011 industrial unrest and grounding of fleet

In response to ongoing industrial unrest over failed negotiations involving three unions (the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA), the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) and the Transport Workers Union of Australia (TWU)), the company grounded its entire domestic and international fleet from 5 pm AEDT on 29 October. Employees involved would be locked out from 8 pm AEDT on 31 October.[108] It was reported that the grounding would have a daily financial impact of A$20 million.[109] In the early hours of 31 October, Fair Work Australia ordered that all industrial action taken by Qantas and the involved trade unions be terminated immediately. The order was requested by the federal government[110] amid fears that an extended period of grounding would do significant damage to the national economy, especially the tourism and mining sectors. It is estimated that the grounding affected 68,000 customers worldwide. The unrest has been caused by the recent restructuring of the Qantas airline due to decreasing profits. Most of the airline's international routes are operated at a loss, with just the domestic services within Australia managing to keep the airline afloat. The three unions have demanded that they had to be paid more, although their current pay of AU$40–50000 per year also contain bonuses such as overtime.[111] Qantas has offered a pay increase of 3% per annum, for three years.[112] The current CPI is around 3.5%[113] As of 21 November 2011 (2011 -11-21), negotiations with two unions have failed, and an arbitration led by the Australian industrial court seems to be the only plausible way to unlock the conflict.[114]

  See also


  References

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