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Qantas grounds third Boeing 737 jet after cracks discovery
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  • Qantas has blamed an "irresponsible" union for flight scares that resulted in the grounding of three of its Boeing 737 jets
  • Hairline cracks were discovered on the conjoining area between a plane's body and wing
  • These problems were found after an urgent safety review this week on 33 of the planes in the airline's fleet — prompted by an American aviation engineers union
  • Domestic Chief Operating Officer Andrew David stated the cracks are not an immediate safety risk and the planes are expected to return to service by the end of this year
  • Despite the scare, shares in the company are trading higher today by 0.86 per cent for $6.47

Aussie airline Qantas has blamed an "irresponsible" union on flight scares that saw three of its Boeing jets grounded this week.

Members of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) called for Boeing 737 jets that had seen significant mileage to go under immediate service.

As a result, Qantas has located three examples of structural cracks in its jets this week. These jets had completed nearly 27,000 take-offs and landings each. The FAA highlighted that jets with 30,000 take-offs and landings needed attention.

The three Qantas jets have since been grounded for repairs.

A Qantas branded Boeing 737-800 jet
Image sourced from Qantas Airlines

"We would never fly an aircraft that wasn't safe,"

Qantas Chief Operating Officer Andrew David

Qantas Chief Operating Officer Andrew David addressed concerns this week, stating the problems were not an immediate safety risk and accusing the FAA of inflating scares.

"Even where these hairline cracks are present they’re not an immediate risk, which is clear from the fact the checks were not required for at least seven months," Andrew said.

"We would never fly an aircraft that wasn’t safe," he said.

The Qantas cracks and safety concerns covered headlines across Australia this week.

"There were some irresponsible comments from one engineering union Thursday, which completely misrepresented the facts," Andrew added.

"Those comments were especially disappointing given the fantastic job our engineers have done to inspect these aircraft well ahead of schedule, and the priority they give to safety every day of the week," he said.

The report from the FAA claimed the cracks could "adversely affect the structural integrity of the airplane and result in a loss of control".

Despite Qantas doing their best efforts to downplay the worries, Secretary of the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers' Association Steve Pravinas said differently.

"If you want to see how serious this is then all you have to do is ask the US Federal Airworthiness Administration," Steve said.

Qantas said today the jets in service are expected to return to normal flights by the end of this year.

Despite the crack scare, shares in the company are trading higher by 0.86 per cent for $6.47 each.

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