Qantas has come under fire for a diversion that resulted in a 787 remaining on the ground in Newcastle despite keeping passengers and crew safe.
Despite the fact that Qantas has recently made headlines for all the wrong reasons, it appears that the Flying Kangaroo is now being blamed for the severe storms that hit Sydney on Saturday night and prompted one of its planes to divert to Newcastle.
The airline took the necessary action when the Boeing 787 was unable to land in Sydney, but despite doing so, it received a tonne of flak for protecting the crew and passengers’ safety.
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
A three-year-old Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner bearing the MSN 66074 registration number and sporting the special Qantas 100th anniversary livery flew the flight. It was scheduled to land at Sydney International Airport (SYD) at 17:50 on Saturday after travelling 11,363 kilometres (7,060 miles) on a flight that typically lasts fourteen hours. This information was provided by Flightradar24.com.
Stormy Sydney prevents 787 landing
Even so, this flight from Santiago, the only international flight impacted, had to be diverted due to heavy storms in the Sydney area.
A regional hub about 100 miles from Sydney, Newcastle Airport (NTL) is where the Dreamliner made its final destination after being rerouted north.
The widebody was effectively detained for the night at Newcastle Airport due to a lack of infrastructure to accommodate and refuel it, according to a news.com.au report, even though the passengers, crew, and aircraft were all kept safe.
In addition to experiencing severe turbulence during the journey, the 236 passengers and crew that the aircraft is designed to transport had a difficult night.
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Passengers were forced to remain onboard for around seven hours as the plane sat on the tarmac since there were no urgent immigration services or accommodations available.
Although it is difficult to understand what further the airline could have done given the circumstances, qantas received a lot of criticism on social media, as is to be anticipated in today’s world.
In response, the airline released the following statement, thanking customers for their patience throughout the long, uncomfortable night.”This included our flight from Santiago to Sydney which diverted to Newcastle.
Qantas customer support team members travelled from Sydney to Newcastle to assist customers in the terminal through the night. We understand that this would have been a frustrating experience for our customers and an uncomfortable night and we thank them for their patience and understanding of the impact the storms had on flights into Sydney.”
John Myers, a passenger, told the Sydney Morning Herald that the turbulence was “severe,” and that the trip had been quite bumpy. Many of us have taken turbulent flights, but that was on a whole other level, he claimed.
There were a few people clutching on tightly and holding hands, but there were no cries; only a few people gasped. Finding food and drinks for over 200 people in the middle of the night is not an easy fix because Newcastle, Australia is not New York, which makes it confusing for the inexperienced.
According to the claim, the flight crew showed up early in the morning bearing hamburgers and beverages for the passengers that they had purchased from the neighbourhood McDonald’s.
That was explained by Meyers, who stated: “I don’t often like Maccas, and it was only lukewarm, but I was starving, and in times of need, you do what you have to do. Most individuals remained calm throughout, and it was encouraging to observe that those at the top did not receive any special treatment from those in the cattle class.”
According to data from Flightradar24.com, the 787-9 made its way back to Sydney on Sunday and landed at 10:22. Notwithstanding the exceptionally high number of turnbacks experienced by Qantas this month, diverting an aircraft that cannot land safely is not even close to an airline disaster.
It goes without saying that there are always things that may have been done better in circumstances like this, but generally it is difficult to see how Qantas can be faulted for this.
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