Qantas plane forced to land in Bangkok

2011-01-26 14:02
Bangkok - A Qantas Boeing 747 suffering mid-air mechanical trouble was forced to land in Bangkok, a Thai official said on Wednesday, in the latest of a string of problems for the Australian airline.

The Sydney-bound flight developed difficulties on Tuesday evening soon after taking off from the Thai capital, said Somchai Thean-Anant of Thailand's air traffic control.

Reporting from Sydney, the Australian Associated Press said the aircraft was carrying 352 passengers, and quoted a Qantas spokesperson as denying that the airline was suffering from systemic maintenance problems.

Also on Tuesday, a Qantas Boeing 737-400 carrying 99 passengers lost cabin pressure mid-flight en route from Adelaide to Melbourne, prompting the pilot to dive 8 000m and panicking passengers.

Qantas has endured a dramatic few months. In November it temporarily suspended flights of its Airbus A380 superjumbos after an engine on one exploded after taking off from Singapore, damaging the aircraft.

Last week a Qantas flight bound for New York made an unscheduled stop in Fiji after the Boeing 747 developed a problem with a fuel valve supplying one of its engines.

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