DALLAS – Days after one of its Boeing 737s made an emergency landing at Sydney (SYD) after suffering an inflight engine failure, Qantas (QF) has urged observers to “put these things into context” following several additional mechanical issues.
The airline has dealt with two engine “problems” on its 737-800 fleet, plus a flap issue on one of its Boeing 717s. On January 20, a 737 (VH-VXP), operating flight QF340 from Melbourne (MEL) to Sydney (SYD), was forced to turn back to MEL “as a precaution” after encountering a “minor engine problem.”
This followed an incident on January 19, when 737 (VH-VZQ), operating flight QF101 from SYD to Nadi (NAN), returned to SYD after a faulty pitot tube needed to be replaced.
And on January 18, 737 (VH-XZB) declared a mayday whilst en route to SYD from Auckland (AKL). After downgrading the emergency to a PAN call, the aircraft landed safely at SYD.
Committed to Safety
The airline’s Domestic CEO Andrew David said in a statement, “It’s important to put these things in context. Across aviation, there are diversions and air turn-backs happening every day for a range of reasons. They usually reflect an abundance of caution and that’s why flying is such a safe way to travel.
“When they happen at Qantas, we’re proud of how well our people deal with them, and that comes back to our safety record and our commitment to training.
“We understand that when you hear reports of planes turning around, it’s concerning. But people can be assured that aviation is built on safeguards, and one of those safeguards is that if something isn’t right, we take a conservative approach to the problem rather than pressing on.”
The Australian flag carrier has consistently been voted one of the world’s safest airlines. Putting these incidents into context, QF, together with its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar (JQ), operates over 300,000 flights per year and out of these, only 60 result in turn-backs due to technical issues.
Featured Image: The airline operates 75 Boeing 737-800s. Photo: Noah Pitkin/Airways.