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Qantas Airlines

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Qantas Airlines

Template:Use Australian English

A red triangle containing a white silhouette of a kangaroo, with the word Qantas underneath the triangle
Founded 16 November 1920 (1920-11-16)
Winton, Queensland, Australia
Commenced operations March 1921 (1921-03)
Hubs Brisbane Airport
Secondary hubs
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Qantas Frequent Flyer
Airport lounge
  • Chairmans Lounge
  • The Qantas Club
Alliance Oneworld
Fleet size 146[1]
Destinations 41 (20 domestic, 21 international)
Company slogan Spirit of Australia[2]
You're the reason we fly[3]
Headquarters Mascot, New South Wales, Australia[4]
Key people
Revenue Increase A$15.9 billion (2013)[5]
Net income Increase A$6 million (2013)[5]
Total assets Decrease A$20.2 billion (2013)[5]
Total equity Increase A$5.954 billion (2013)[5]
Employees Decrease 33,265 (2013)[5]

Qantas (Qantas Airways Limited; Sydney Airport.

Qantas carries a 65% share of the Australian domestic market and carries 18.7% of all passengers travelling in and out of Australia.[8]


Main article: History of Qantas

Qantas was founded in Winton, Queensland on 16 November 1920 as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited.[9] 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.[10]

Corporate affairs

Key business trends

The key trends for the Qantas Group ("Qantas Airways Ltd and Controlled Entities"), which includes Jetstar and Qantas Cargo, are shown below (as at year ending 30 June):

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Turnover (A$m) 15,627 14,552 13,772 14,894 15,724 15,902
Profits (Statutory profit/loss after tax) (A$m) 970 123 116 249 −244 6
Number of employees (FTE) 33,670 33,966 32,489 33,169 33,584 33,265
Number of passengers (m) 38.6 38.4 41.4 44.5 46.7 48.2
Passenger load factor (%) 80.7 79.6 80.8 80.1 80.1 79.3
Number of aircraft (at year end) 224 229 254 283 308 312
Notes/sources [11] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]


Qantas headquarters are located in the Qantas Centre in the Mascot suburb of the City of Botany Bay, Sydney, New South Wales.[4]

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.[16] 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.[17]

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders initiatives

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.[18]

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.[18]

Promotional activities

An early television campaign, starting in 1967 and running for several decades, was aimed at American audiences; it featured a live koala, voiced by Howard Morris, who complained that too many tourists were coming to Australia and concluded "I hate Qantas".[19] The koala ads have been ranked among the greatest commercials of all time.[20] Qantas used a small promotional animation on its website to announce it will offer in-flight internet services on its fleet of A380s.[21] 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. Qantas is the main and shirt sponsor of the "Qantas Wallabies", the Australian national Rugby Union team. It also sponsors and has shirt rights to the Socceroos, Australia's national association football 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:

  • Australia Asia Airlines—operated from 1990 to 1996 to allow Qantas to serve the Taiwanese market
  • Impulse Airlines—an established airline bought by Qantas in 2001; ceased operations the same year and its assets used to establish Jetstar Airways
  • Australian Airlines—an international budget airline operated from 2001 to 2006[22]
  • QantasLink—Qantas' regional airline brand encompassing the operations of two Qantas subsidiary airlines and a contract carrier
  • Jetstar Airways—currently operating as Qantas' low-cost carrier
  • Network Aviation—an established air charter carrier in Western Australia bought by Qantas in 2011; fulfills fly-in fly-out contracts with mining companies
  • Jetconnect — A wholly owned Qantas subsidiary that focuses on trans-Tasman travel between Auckland and Wellington to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Established in 2002, Jetconnect operates a fleet of eight Boeing 737-800s.

Qantas operates a freight service under the name Qantas Freight and also wholly owns the logistics and air freight company Australian air Express.


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.

Fundamental structural change

The Australian Commonwealth Air Navigation Act caps foreign ownership of Qantas at 49 percent if it wants to use Australian traffic rights on international routes. The Qantas Sale Act, under which the airline was privatised, also limits foreign ownership of Qantas to 49 percent. Foreign airlines are subject to further restrictions under the Qantas Sale Act, which stipulates a 35-percent limit for all foreign airline shareholdings combined. In addition, a single foreign entity can hold no more than 25 percent of the airline's shares.[23]

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 would be lost in Australia, and a new Asia-based premium airline would be set up, operating under a different name. It would also launch a budget airline, called Jetstar Japan, in partnership with Japan Airlines and Mitsubishi Corporation. The change become necessary because of losses in the airline's international operations, due to airlines such as Emirates and Singapore Airlines becoming more competitive and because of the deregulation of Australian international routes during the mid-to-late 1980s.[24] Included in the changes were the cessation of services to London via Hong Kong and Bangkok; Qantas will still operate to these cities, but with onward flights to London via its Oneworld partner British Airways under a code-share service.[25]

Qantas is attempting to turn around its international operations, which lost about A$200 million ($209 million) for the year ending June 2011. Therefore, on 26 March 2012, Qantas announced it would 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, which had 54 million passengers in 2011.[26]

Due to high fuel prices, intense competition and industrial disputes, Qantas reported a A$245 million ($257 million) full-year loss to the end of June 2012, which was its first loss since Qantas was fully privatised 17 years previously, in 1995, and led to the airline cancelling its order of 35 new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, to reduce its spending.[27]

Qantas and Emirates began their historic alliance on 31 March 2013, in which their combined carriers offer 98 flights per week[28] to Dubai, that saw bookings up six-fold.[29] To accommodate Muslim sensitivities, the airline has banned pork from all flights bound to/from Europe,[30] which provoked a backlash on social media.[31]

New uniform

Paris-based Australian designer Martin Grant is responsible for the new Qantas airline staff uniforms that were publicly unveiled on 16 April 2013. Qantas ambassador and model Miranda Kerr assisted with the launch of the new outfit for which the colours of navy blue, red and fuchsia pink are combined. Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce stated that the new design "speaks of Australian style on the global stage" at the launch event that involved Qantas employees modelling the uniform. Grant consulted with Qantas staff members over the course of one year to finalise the 35 styles that were eventually created.[32]


Main article: Qantas destinations

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 65 domestic and 27 international destinations.

Qantas operates flightseeing charters to Antarctica on behalf of Croydon Travel. It first flew Antarctic flightseeing trips in 1977.[33] 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.[34] 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 1979 Air New Zealand disaster.

Partnerships and codeshare agreements

Qantas has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:


Qantas current fleet

An Airbus A380-800 departure from Changi Airport in 2011
A Boeing 747-400 at Perth Airport in 2005
An Airbus A330-300 at Singapore Changi Airport in 2012
A Boeing 737-800 at Perth Airport in 2010
A Boeing 767-300ER at Sydney Airport in 2005

Current fleet

As of October 2013 the Qantas mainline fleet consists of the following aircraft:[1][39]

Qantas Fleet *
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers Notes
Airbus A330-200 10 2[40] 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
14 64 35 371 484
Boeing 737-400 11 20 120 140 several in storage[42][43][44][45]
phasing out in 2014
16 126 142
12 132 144
8 138 146
4 144 148
150 150[46]
Boeing 737-800 62 11[40] 12 156 168 Replacement of 737-400
Boeing 747-400 17 14 66 40 187 307 several in storage[42][45][47][48][49]
phasing out from 2013[50]
Replacement aircraft: Airbus A380[50]
14 52 32 255 353
56 40 275 371
56 356 412
Boeing 747-400ER 6 58 36 270 364 All Boeing 747-400ER aircraft have been upgraded to feature the new business, premium economy, and economy cabins. To be replaced by A380s from 2018[51]
Boeing 767-300ER 18 24 204 228
30 214 244
30 224 254
Total 146 21

* First Class and Premium Economy offered on select aircraft.

As of October 2013 Qantas and its subsidiaries operate 317 aircraft, which includes 74 aircraft by Jetstar Airways, 65 by the various QantasLink-branded airlines, eight by Jetconnect, 19 by Network Aviation and five by Express Freighters Australia (on behalf of Qantas Freight, which also wet leases three Atlas Air Boeing 747-400Fs).[1][39][52][53][54][55][56]

On 22 August 2012, Qantas announced that, due to losses and to conserve capital, it has cancelled its 35-aircraft 787-9 order while keeping the 15-aircraft 787-8 order (currently allocated to Jetstar Airways) and moving forward 50 purchase rights.[57][58]

Aircraft names

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.

Aircraft liveries

Qantas has one Boeing 737-800 painted in an Australian Aboriginal art scheme, Yananyi Dreaming, designed by Australian Aborigines.[59] Boeing 747-400ER VH-OEJ wore the Wunala Dreaming paint scheme, but it was repainted in the current mainline Qantas livery in January 2012. There was previously a third livery, Nalanji Dreaming, used on a Boeing 747–300, but this aircraft has been stored at Avalon Airport since 2007 with the livery painted over with blue and used for parts.

Historic fleet

Main article: Qantas Historical Fleet


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,[60] every Qantas aircraft has some form of video audio entertainment.

"iQ" is featured in all classes of the Airbus A380, as well domestic Airbus A330-200s. It will be implemented on new Boeing 737-800s,[61] and refurbished B747s when they enter service.[62][63] 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).[64]

The "Total Entertainment System" by Rockwell Collins[65] 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 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,[66] domestic configured Boeing 737-800s (delivered before 2011)[67] as well the economy and most business class sections on Boeing 767s.[68] International-configured Boeing 767 aircraft have Mainscreen throughout the cabin however also offer a 10-channel looped personal video system in Business Class.[69]

The Australian Nine Network provides a news bulletin for Qantas entitled Nine's Qantas Inflight News. The bulletin is the same broadcast as Nine's Early Morning News.

Q Streaming is an in-flight entertainment system in which entertainment is streamed to iPads. It is available on all refurbished Boeing 767-300s and is streamed to iPads available in all classes. A selection of movies, TV, Music, and a kids' choice is available. The passenger has the option of being able to stop, play, pause, fast forward and rewind any of the audio, movie and video content available.

Qantas The Australian Way is the airline's in-flight magazine.[70]

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. 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.[71] The in-flight entertainment system indicates that Internet access is provided by OnAir.[72]

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.[73]

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.[74] 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.[75]


First class

First class is offered on Airbus A380.[76] An exception is made for two weekly flights to Hong Kong where the Boeing 747-400 operates in place of the A380.

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,[77] 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) widescreen HD monitor with 1,000 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. First class is offered in a 1-1-1 layout on the Airbus A380.

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.

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 its "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.[78] By 2015, the business class of its entire fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft will be fitted with lie flat seats.[79]

747s and A330s features a 26 cm (10 in) touchscreen monitor with 400 AVOD programs. Qantas' new international business class product is featured on the Airbus A380. It features 64 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 touchscreen monitor with 1,000 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.[80]

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 range from 38-42 in on the Airbus A380, with a width of 19.5 inches. 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 35 seats.[81]

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.[82]

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,[83] 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.[84]


Qantas has smartphone apps for the iOS[85] and Windows Phone[86] platforms, however the iOS app is mainly for members of its Qantas Frequent Flyer program to manage their points whereas the Windows Phone app provides mobile check in and boarding pass, live flight updates and information on airport lounges. An Android app was launched on August 7, 2013.[87]

Qantas Frequent Flyer


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,[88] 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), Platinum and Platinum One status (Oneworld Emerald).[89]

Qantas has faced criticism regarding availability of seats for members redeeming points.[90] In 2004, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission directed Qantas to provide greater disclosure to members regarding the availability of frequent flyer seats.[91]

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.[92]

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.[93] 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.[94] However, in September 2008, it stated it would defer the float, citing volatile market conditions.[95]

The Qantas Club


The Qantas Club is the 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)[96] 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. 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.

In April 2013, Qantas opened its new flagship Lounge in Singapore, The Qantas Singapore Lounge. This replaced the existing First and Business Class lounges as a result of the new Emirates Alliance. Qantas provides the same service currently offered by Sofitel in their flagship First lounges in Sydney and Melbourne and a dining experience featuring Neil Perry's Spice Temple inspired dishes and signature cocktails. [97]

Lounge access

Qantas Club Members, Gold Frequent Flyers and Oneworld Sapphire holders are permitted to enter domestic Qantas Clubs when flying on Qantas or Jetstar flights along with one guest who need not be travelling . Platinum and Oneworld Emerald Members are permitted to bring in two guests who do not need to be travelling. Internationally, members use Qantas International Business Class lounges (or the Oneworld equivalent). Guests of the member must be travelling in order to gain access to international lounges.[98] 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.[99]

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.[100] 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.[101] 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, New South Wales during a training flight, causing the gear to collapse. The aircraft was destroyed by fire, but the crew evacuated safely.[102]
  • 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.[103]
  • On 24 August 1960 Lockheed Super Constellation VH-EAC crashed on take-off at Mauritius en route to the Cocos Islands, Australia. The take-off was aborted following an engine failure, the aircraft ran off the runway, and was destroyed by fire. There were no fatalities.[104]
  • On 23 September 1999 Qantas Flight 1, a 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.[105]
  • On 7 October 2008 Airbus A330-300 VH-QPA, travelling from Singapore to Perth, Western Australia 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.. 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.[106] 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.[107]
  • 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 en route to Sydney, New South Wales. 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.[108][109][110]

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.[111] Tipped off by a still-unidentified informer, the police arrested an Englishman, Peter Macari,[112] 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.[113]

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".[114] 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.[115] The policy has also been criticised for failing to take female abusers into consideration.[116]

In 2010, when British Airways was successfully sued to change its child seating policy, Qantas argued again that banning men from sitting next to unaccompanied children "reflected parents' concerns".[117] In August 2012, the controversy resurfaced when a male passenger had to swap seats with a female passenger after the crew noticed he was sitting next to an unrelated girl travelling alone. The person concerned felt discriminated and humiliated before the flight guests as a paedophile.[118] A Qantas spokesman defended the policy as consistent with that of other airlines in Australia and around the globe.[118]

Price fixing

A class action lawsuit brought by Maurice Blackburn based in Melbourne, Victoria, 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 to settle the case.[119]

Qantas has pleaded guilty to participating in a cartel that fixed the price of air cargo. Qantas Airways Ltd. was fined C$155,000 after it admitted that its freight division fixed surcharges on cargo exported on certain routes from Canada between May 2002 and February 2006.[120] [121] In July 2007, Qantas pleaded guilty in the United States to price fixing and was fined a total of $61 million through the Department of Justice investigation. The executive in charge, Bruce McCaffrey was jailed for 6 months.[122] Other Qantas executives were granted immunity after the airline agreed to co-operate with authorities.[123] 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

Main article: 2011 Qantas industrial disputes

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 p.m. AEDT on 31 October.[124] It was reported that the grounding would have a daily financial impact of A$20 million.[125] 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[126] 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.

Notable people

See also



  • Retrieved 25 August 2011

External links

  • National Library of Australia
  • State Library Of Queensland
  • Qantas Facts – Official
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