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Mon, May 23, 2011

Qantas Flight To London Forced To Return To Bangkok

Boeing 747 Experienced Engine Problems, Shut One Down

The crew of a Qantas Boeing 747 on a flight from Bangkok to London was forced to return to Thailand after experiencing "an increase in vibration and high temperatures" in one of the airplanes' four engines.


File Photo

A spokesman for Qantas said "The pilots shut down this engine and as a precaution returned to Bangkok. The aircraft can safely fly on three engines, and it had a normal landing."

The spokesman said that other airlines are having similar issues with Rolls Royce engines, which is reportedly stepping up monitoring efforts.

But the French news service AFP reports that Qantas is facing more than just mechanical difficulties on some of its airplanes. The airline, like all others, is facing rapidly-rising fuel costs, and its international business is said to be struggling. Pilots are threatening to strike against the airline, and through their union are expressing concern about the amount of fuel they are carrying. The pilots hold that there is pressure from the airlines to carry only the minimum amount necessary to complete a flight with reserves. They say the airline prints out reports showing the amount of fuel loaded and how much is remaining at landing. Some in the industry have said that fuel allocation ratios have become outdated by better weather and traffic forecasts.

Qantas says it does not attempt to influence any pilot's decision as to how much fuel to carry, and that captains are solely responsible for their fuel orders. The spokesperson said that all of the airlines flights carry "appropriate fuel based on extremely detailed flight planning and forecast flying conditions."

FMI: www.qantas.com, www.aipa.org.au

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