16 Nov 2010

Qantas plays down safety concerns after aborted flight

7:04 am on 16 November 2010

Australian airline Qantas is again playing down safety concerns with its aircraft after another aborted flight.

A Qantas 747 bound for Argentina was forced to turn back to Sydney after smoke was detected in the cockpit an hour into the flight on Monday.

The airline says a minor electrical problem caused the turnaround and all passengers disembarked safely, the ABC reports.

Qantas says the latest drama is unrelated to three other incidents on its planes in the past fortnight.

Earlier in November the engine of a Qantas Airbus A380 exploded over Indonesia. Qantas and Singapore Airlines grounded their A380s while the explosion was investigated.

A day later, a Qantas Boeing 747 was forced to turn back from Singapore en route to Sydney after an engine failed.

On Friday, a Qantas 767 turned back to Perth after vibrations were detected in one of its engines.

A marketing analyst believes the brand is beginning to suffer. Richard Sauerman says there is an erosion of trust in people's minds and they will think twice about using Qantas next time they book a flight.