Aviation safety watchdog audits airlines

Transport Workers' Union (TWU) members want better pay and conditions.

Transport Workers' Union (TWU) members want better pay and conditions. Photo: AAP

Australia’s aviation safety watchdog has launched a surveillance campaign to examine ground handling, cabin safety and dangerous goods in post-COVID operations.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority said it had begun examining internal and external operations across airports and larger airline operators.

“CASA is undertaking an industry-wide surveillance campaign across airports and larger airline operators examining areas such as ground handling, cabin safety and dangerous goods in response to the ramp-up of operations following COVID,” a spokesman said.

It comes as research shows more Australians have resumed travel plans two years after the pandemic began, as the federal government continues to ease COVID restrictions.

An estimated 14.4 million Australians are said to be planning holidays in the next 12 months, according to data from Jetstar.

However, thousands of travellers have already had their holiday plans disrupted in recent weeks after a series of flight delays and cancellations across various airlines.

Low-cost carrier Jetstar apologised to passengers on Monday after eight return services between Melbourne and Sydney and Denpasar were cancelled since the beginning of the month.

“Unfortunately, our Boeing 787 fleet has been impacted by a number of issues, including a lightning strike, a bird strike, damage from an item on the runway and delays sourcing a specific spare part for one of our aircraft due to global supply chain challenges,” a Jetstar spokesman said.

The Qantas subsidiary said it had accommodated a majority of affected passengers and was working to find alternatives for about 200 more.

Qantas also recently apologised after a litany of complaints from passengers who had flights cancelled, faced long queues at airports and lost baggage in recent months.

The national carrier was the subject of an ABC investigation, with dozens of Qantas staff speaking about their concerns for the airline’s reputation.


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