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Cheers - AE

Friday, 5 November 2010

Things I still don't get about Australia - No. 31

Australians, like many Brits, seem to enjoy having a dig at their national airline despite Dustin Hoffman's famous autistic character's declaration that they never crash. I've flown both Qantas and BA a couple of times each, and I do agree that one of those carriers deserves all the abuse it gets. But here anything that happens to a Qantas plane, any mid flight incident that is not 100% routine, is reported as if the airline is run by idiots and flies planes which crewed by incompetents and held together with string. Seriously, it's fast approaching the point that one of the reading lights not working in row 32 will be reported as "Qantas - latest embarrassment for troubled airline", and from my experience of flying with them that's just not bloody fair. The reporting of yesterday's A380 incident in Singapore is a typical example:

In fairness to the Herald Sun they do at least mention this:

And that should be kept in mind, because if the engine blew up in a taxi you wouldn't first question whether the cab company was in some way at fault but immediately start wondering about the make and model of car itself. Qantas didn't build the plane, Airbus did. Qantas didn't make the engine, Roll-Royce did. Qantas may have stuffed up something while maintaining it but it's far too early for the inevitable investigation to do more than consider it a line of inquiry, and you can be damned sure they'll be considering Airbus and Rolls as well, especially if this is not an isolated incident with that engine type.

Yet I'm not sure the Aussie media see it that way, and it wouldn't surprise me that if a Qantas flight in the next few days runs out of Pinot Gris or has a spelling mistake in the in flight magazine it would be reported as "Latest Qantas shame".
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