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JETSTAR: Strands thousands of passengers overseas due to aircraft engineering issues

JETSTAR: Strands thousands of passengers overseas due to aircraft engineering issues

After a damning investigation by 4Corners last night, the Qantas Group receives another huge blow to its public reputation. The SMH is reporting that:

Jetstar has lost half its long-haul aircraft fleet to engineering issues and cannot say when they will all be back in service to help rectify widespread cancellations that have stranded thousands of customers overseas.

Sydney Morning Herald

They report that Jetstar has cancelled 8 return services to Bali in the last week, as well as services to Thailand and Japan. That’s bad enough, but for some passengers, they have been unable to offer return flights within 7 days of the originally scheduled flights.

For example – about 4,000 passengers were affected in Bali, and all but 180 have received alternate bookings to return to Australia.

Dreamliners grounded.

Apparently, the foundation of the issue is that out of 11 Boeing Dreamliner 787s in service, 6 of them are currently out of service due to everything from a bird, FOD (Foreign Object Debris) and freak lightning strike through to a delay in replacement parts.

Initially, it was thought that some of these planes would only be out of action for a couple of weeks, but it’s now been over 3 months.

Back in Bali and Phuket

Stranded passengers have been offered daily allowances of approx AU$200 for food and accommodation. That’s well and good, but is little comfort if you had plans to be back in Australia days – or weeks ago!

a pool with a deck chair and umbrella
Four Seasons Sayan, Bali

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

Qantas reputationally is in a load of trouble. The apology and compensation to frequent flyers a couple of weeks ago were meant to end the episode, but actually, with the 4Corners investigation and this further story of stranded passengers in Balia and Phuket, it feels more like the beginning of the end of Alan Joyce. I’m not going to join the ‘sack him’ pile on, as much of his management has preserved the airline. However, the evidence is mounting up that the post lockdown and closed border recovery in this pandemic have been botched.

Playing fast and loose with employer loyalty and retention in the service of efficiency and the profits of shareholders is showing its cost, now, just when you want your staff to go above and beyond. Pity they have had their bluff called too many times.

Maybe Alan has cried ‘wolf’ too often.

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  1. AA56

    Jetstar – you get what you pay for. Stop moaning about Qantas too. Go and fly on Shazza.

    • 2paxfly

      I agree. However, the number of Jetstar Boeing 787s out of action tends to support the criticism that the Qantas Group has too few engineering staff to service its fleet.

  2. AA56

    Aircraft develop faults every now and again. It’s a machine and machines do break down. It’s a part of flying.


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