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Tuesday 24 January 2023

Qantas scrambles to defend its reputation

Qantas has always been an airline whose name is synonymous with safety and good service.

That image has taken a hit this month with six unrelated issues involving its aircraft (five of which involved flights turned back) that generated a whole lot of unwanted media attention and public criticism.

The publicity could have been a whole lot worse were it not for Qantas's cosy relationship with the Australian media - and its status as a big paying advertiser.

After a long feature article on Qantas' woes on major financial news website, the airline is scrambling to defend its reputation.

And, to be fair, all of the flights that were turned back landed safely. And all the issues were unrelated.

Australia’s aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, said in a statement it was “confident Qantas is operating safely and has confidence in its safety management systems.”

“Australia has one of the safest aviation industries in the world and travellers should have confidence when they fly,” CASA said.

Qantas Domestic CEO Andrew David said there are no issues at the airline.

“Our pilots are trained always to err on the side of caution,” he said. “I’d be more worried about the airlines that don’t turn back than the airlines that do in those situations.

"When we look at our overall fleet health condition, we are very, very, very satisfied our fleet are in good, healthy condition.”

That said, chief executive Alan Joyce - who previously oversaw repeated episodes of cancelled flights and lost luggage - must be hoping that there are no more issues.

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