A Qantas A380 that was to depart LAX for Melbourne as QF94 this afternoon Australian time has been in a ground collision with a Qantas 747-400 that was due to operate QF16 to Brisbane.
The damage to the wings of both jets is reported as significant by witnesses. Neither jet had started loading and both flights have been cancelled.
Qantas advises that:
The wing tips of two Qantas aircraft, an A380 and a B747, came into contact at approximately 9 pm local time while being towed out of the hangar in Los Angeles. No passengers were on board.
Both aircraft have been assessed by engineers and as a result the 27 February QF94 (LAX-MEL) and QF16 (LAX-BNE) services have been cancelled.
Customers will be provided with hotel rooms overnight and will be accommodated on the next available services.
Qantas apologises for the inconvenience to our passengers.
CASA have been notified and a full investigation is underway.
Staff at Los Angeles Airport were told yesterday that their employment would not be impacted by the restructure announced by Qantas.
QF94 departs Los Angeles at 11:30pm (local) and arrives in Melbourne at 10:20am (local) two days later. QF16 departs Los Angeles at 11:50pm (local) and arrives into Brisbane at 8:00am (local) two days later.
Earlier this week serious concerns were raised by Senator Nick Xenophon over the safety implications of the constant management leaks to media about thousands of job losses at Qantas and the insecurity and anxiety this was likely to cause to the work force including those whose functions directly affected safety.
Later CASA and Qantas both acknowledged the concerns, and both said they were increasing surveillance of the work places during a time of change for employees with a view to ensuring safety standards do not suffer.
It is of course not known if such factors are involved in this incident, and it may be some time before all the facts and factors are established. It isn’t clear if any Qantas employees were even directly involved in the incident.