Qantas, Virgin ground planes
September 14, 2002
QANTAS and Virgin have been hit by a grounding order by Boeing on their 737-800 jets this morning.
Qantas spokesman Martin Sharp said the airline received notification overnight from the manufacturer.
"The order affects six of our jets, one is back in service, another four are expected to be back in the air by lunchtime and the sixth, which is in Townsville, will take a little longer," he said.
Virgin airlines was forced to ground two of its planes, airline spokesman David Huttner said.
"We got the order overnight, which affected two of our planes," he said.
"Boeing said they were concerned about a batch of these parts which are part of the plane's operating systems and we take the most conservative approach, which of course is replacement," he said.
"The part was replaced on one jet overnight and the other was flown to Melbourne for the replacement and will be back in the air by lunch time.
"There was some inconvenience for passengers flying from Sydney to Melbourne, but they understood it was a matter of safety first," he said.