Following a heavy storm in Brisbane last week, the airport was left battered. On the apron, a Qantas 787 was pushed around and lifted off the ground by the strong winds. Moreover, the aircraft may have faced damage after some ground equipment hit the fuselage. Let’s find out more.
New visuals from the storm in Brisbane have shown the extent of the storm when it hit the airport. One aircraft impacted was a Qantas 787-9 parked on the ground, registered VH-ZND, and painted in the Yam Dreaming livery. This plane looked to be in the process of unloading when the storm hit the airport, forcing staff to shelter for safety immediately.
The video below shows the 787 being pushed around by the winds and even the front being lifted off the ground for a few seconds. This caused the nose wheel to 90° and the aircraft to hit the cargo loader parked right next to it. At the time of the incident, the cargo door of the plane was open.
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The aircraft doesn’t seem to have moved away from the stand altogether, a rare occurrence but one that has happened in other places recently. However, the extent of damage from hitting the loader remains unclear, and the 787 could be grounded for a few weeks as checks and repairs are completed.
Thankfully, no one was injured on the ground due to the quick evacuation orders. With the weather now settling down in Queensland, Qantas will be assessing the situation. The grounding of one of its 787s right before the restart of international flights could pose a challenge for the carrier’s big plans.
According to Planespotters.net, out of Qantas’ 11 787-9s, three are currently in parking. This means the carrier might have some flexibility to swap aircraft in the early days of the reopening. VH-ZNA, -ZNF, and -ZNH have all been listed as parked, while the other seven (minus -ZND) are flying.
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Qantas will relaunch a raft of routes on November 1st, taking advantage of Sydney and Melbourne’s new entry requirements. Now, fully vaccinated residents will no longer need to quarantine on arrival, subject to PCR testing. Currently, the border is only fully opened to Australian citizens, permanent residents, and their immediate family.
This means tourists will have to wait just a little while longer before flying in. However, Australia is already nearing a deal with Singapore for a new travel bubble, allowing visitors to return as well. If all goes well, we could see the border fully reopen in a matter of months to vaccinated passengers.
For now, Qantas is plowing ahead with its well-laid plans for a full reopening. With tens of thousands of Australians desperate to get home and the same number looking to travel, the carrier has a significant market on its hands.
What do you think about Qantas’ flight plans for the rest of the year? Let us know in the comments!