Qantas Flight 1737

SYDNEY, 29 May 2003

Two Qantas Flight Attendants on Qantas Flight 1737 were injured today when a male passenger stabbed them using two small wooden stakes.

One passenger also sustained minor injuries, but was not stabbed.

The aircraft, a Boeing 717 en route to Launceston, departed Melbourne at 2.50 pm with 47 passengers and six crew on board, including four Flight Attendants and two Pilots.

The attack happened about 10 minutes into the flight, and the male passenger was quickly restrained by crew and passengers.

The aircraft returned to Melbourne and landed safely at 3.25 pm.

The injured Flight Attendants - a 38 year old male and 25 year old female - were able to walk off the aircraft and are being treated in Royal Melbourne Hospital. The male Flight Attendant suffered a gash to the back of the head, and the female Flight Attendant suffered a cut to the face.

The injured passenger was treated at the scene and required no further medical attention.

Qantas Chief Executive Officer Geoff Dixon said the airline was doing everything possible to help passengers and staff, including offering counselling and travel assistance.

He said there was nothing to suggest the incident was related to terrorist activity, but that the matter was in the hands of the Australian Federal Police.

Mr Dixon said Qantas was also conducting its own full and parallel investigation.

People concerned about family and friends who may have been on the flight can call Qantas on 1800 062 271 for more information.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (2916)