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Australian safety standards come under spotlight

28-Feb-2011 11:15 AM

Qantas and Virgin Blue, Australia’s two largest airlines, have been requested to provide more detail about recent safety incidents at a Senate inquiry into pilot training and airline safety (The Australian Financial Review, 28-Feb-2011). Qantas CEO Alan Joyce advised the inquiry he is looking at 15 “stick shaker” incidents at QantasLink – which occur when the control column vibrates to warn the pilot of an imminent engine stall. Also under review is the airline’s split of maintenance work performed in Australia and abroad, which has been repeatedly raised by Qantas’ unions. Mr Joyce stated the airline performs more than 90% of its MRO in Australia, and outsources work to reputable third parties such as Rolls-Royce and Lufthansa. The CEO defended the airline's safety record and accused the media of "scaremongering" (AAP, 25-Feb-2011).