European Aviation Safety Investigators Have Qantas Concerns
The concerns have been heightened by the emergency landing that a Qantas Boeing 747 had to perform at Manila airport following part of the aircraft's fuselage being dislodged from the aircraft by a yet to be determined chain of events.
Recent Qantas incidents have included an emergency landing at Bangkok after a power failure, shutting down all four engines on a 747 failed, a runway overshoot by a 747 and an aborted 747 take-off at Los Angeles.
Domestically in Australia, there have been hard landings, one in Darwin substantially damaged a 717, and there have been engine failures as well as other incidents involving Qantas aircraft.
European investigators believe that, while they recognise the importance to Qantas of its flights between Australia and Europe, it may not be in the EU's interest to allow Qantas to fly into Europe until the airline is able to prove that it can safely do so.
One investigator said, "Qantas clearly has a problem, a safety culture and/or management problem even, and Europe must not allow the Australian airline to burden its difficulties upon European air-space or airports. We must clearly closely monitor the airline's performance in order to satisfy European safety concerns."
Banning airlines from operating into Europe is not unusual. A number of African airlines have been banned from landing at European airports while one major airline, Garuda, has had major problems getting flight approval into Europe, also because of safety concerns.
Judging by the concerns expressed by the investigators, Qantas appears to be 'on notice' to improve its performance in relation to aircraft safety and reliability.