Qantas Refutes Engineer’s Union Claims

Sydney, 05 November 2010

Qantas today strongly refuted claims by the Federal Secretary of the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) that Qantas engineers had been stood down as a result of yesterday’s QF32 engine incident.

Qantas Chief Executive Officer, Mr Alan Joyce, said Mr Purvinas was wrong, and had demonstrated yet again that he was prepared to go to any lengths to further his industrial agenda.

“It is clearly too soon to speculate on the cause of yesterday’s engine failure,” Mr Joyce said.

“Regardless, Steve Purvinas continues to peddle prejudices and generalisations about aircraft maintenance and safety in the knowledge that his claims will more than likely go unchallenged.

“The engineers he has referred to in a number of media interviews today are employed by QantasLink in Brisbane and are involved in ongoing enterprise agreement negotiations. Six employees were directed not to attend work last week, on full pay, while a disciplinary matter is appropriately investigated. This has nothing to do with our A380 fleet.”

“Mr Purvinas also continues to raise overseas aircraft maintenance as though this was something only Qantas was not allowed to pursue. The overwhelming majority of our aircraft maintenance is undertaken in Australia, and he knows this.

“We operate an international airline and aircraft that are manufactured overseas so it is inevitable some need to be serviced overseas and that has always been the case.

“The A380 involved in the Singapore incident recently underwent its first heavy maintenance check by Lufthansa Technik in Germany. Lufthansa is a leading international airline, a top tier engineering and maintenance provider and an operator of the A380 itself. Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines are overhauled at Rolls-Royce facilities.

“To suggest that Lufthansa and Rolls-Royce do not have the expertise and experience to undertake the highest quality aircraft and checks is ludicrous.

“All Mr Purvinas is interested in grabbing is a headline, regardless to the damage to the reputation of Qantas and its employees including members of his own union”

Mr Joyce also confirmed that Qantas met all the requirements of two Airworthiness Directives (ADs) applying to the Trent 900 engine.

“We take compliance with any Airworthiness Directives extremely seriously,” he said. “Two ADs applied to the Trent 900 engines we use on our A380s. One is no longer relevant to Qantas following an engine modification, and we are fully compliant with the other. Any claim otherwise would be wrong.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (5030)