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International Security Honour For QantasLink Purser

Sydney, 20 November 2003

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has honoured QantasLink purser Greg Khan with the inaugural IATA International Aviation Security Award of Excellence.

The award, presented last night in Athens where the IATA/ACI/ECAC AVSEC World Symposium is being held, was an initiative of IATA to recognise extraordinary contributions to aviation security. Mr Khan tackled a passenger to the ground during QantasLink Flight 1737 between Melbourne and Launceston 29 May 2003, when the customer moved toward the front of the aircraft. Mr Khan and another Flight Attendant were stabbed with two small wooden stakes during the struggle. One passenger also suffered minor injuries.

Qantas Chief Executive Officer Geoff Dixon said the airline was extremely proud of Greg Khan and the professional way in which he handled the situation.

"Mr Khan displayed extraordinary bravery and courage and his actions were crucial in protecting the aircraft and the safety of all passengers and crew on board.

"We are delighted that IATA has chosen to acknowledge Greg in this way."

IATA's Director of Security and Facilitation, Jeffrey Durante, presented the award to Mr Khan in front of more than 600 senior aviation representatives from the world's airlines, airports and government authorities.

Mr Durante said the special award would be presented annually where appropriate, to an individual or organisation considered to have made a significant contribution to aviation security.

"This could include undertaking special security initiatives, developing or sponsoring important legislation or industry leading technology or concepts," Mr Durante said. Greg Khan and the other members of the QantasLink crew from Flight 1737 were also recently presented with the inaugural Qantas Chairman's award.

The award has two levels - Diamond (presented to Greg Khan) and Ruby (presented to Captain Corey Purves, First Officer John Morgan, and Flight Attendants Denise Hickson, Fiona Arnold and Catherine Coventry).

Qantas Chairman Margaret Jackson said the Qantas Chairman's Award would be reserved each year for Qantas staff members who exhibit such extraordinary valour, selflessness and community spirit that the image of the airline is enhanced in the eyes of other Qantas staff and the Australian public.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (2992)
Email: qantasmedia@qantas.com.au