Why the world's safest airline wants to buy the one of world's most unsafe jets

Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services or “Qantas” for short is one of the world’s safest airlines. It has recorded 0 fatalities since 1951 when a De Haviland Dragon crashed into a mountain in Papua New Guinea. Since then, amid some close calls (QF1 for example) Qantas has not had a fatal crash for almost 70 years. Yet they aren’t ruling purchasing the problem-plagued 737 MAX, but why?

The 737 MAX is a successor to a long line of successful narrow-body aircraft, first produced in 1967. The MAX, as all of you know, is far from perfect. It’s killed 346 people in two years of operational history, had multiple lawsuits issued against it and forced it’s CEO to stand down. But this isn’t the first jet to have major problems, the De Haviland Comet, the 1950’s jet that had 13 fatal crashes and over 400 fatalities. The thing is, this was the first commercial jetliner, it accumulated these accidents over decades of service and it’s been almost 70 years of progress. Aircraft like the 787 who have been in service since 2012 hasn’t had a single crash, they had issues but nothing like the scale of the 737 MAX’s long list of problems. But why do Qantas want to buy the problem-plagued jetliner?

Well firstly it’s about money, they want cheaper planes due to the groundings and will try to negotiate with Boeing to get some discounts. Secondly, it’s about their ageing fleet, they currently have some 75 Boeing 737-800’s in their fleet serving domestic, short-haul pacific, trans-Tasman and some Asian routes. Their oldest 738 (VH-VXA) is approaching her 19th birthday and isn’t getting any younger, the problem is Qantas wants medium-range jets soon and can’t decide whether trying to cost cut a deal to buy the MAX or bite the bullet and purchase more (they already have 109 on order for Jetstar) A320neo family. Their CEO said, “Qantas itself will put the [MAX] aircraft through its own lens to make sure we’re comfortable with it,". However this isn’t the only thing Qantas wants, it’s looking into trying to purchase a 250 seat jet (such as Boeings proposed NMA) for service on the world’s 2nd busiest air route between Sydney and Melbourne.

It’s interesting times for Qantas, who need new aircraft soon but need to decide on which. They will have to choose and I’m sure it’s not a decision they’ll make lightly.


Qantas’s oldest 737-800, VH-VXA full image credit

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As an aussie, if Qantas buy the MAX… I’m flying Virgin Australia

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Very informational! Would love to see more like this from you.
This is similar for what we know from Alaska Airlines

Sorry to tell you this mate, but…

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I would say I’m flying TigerAir but I can’t forgive them for this one…

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Virgin owns Tigerair :( Rex it is I guess

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I know, I don’t know why they were even on the table…

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The 737 MAX is definitely not the most unsafe jet in the world, especially since it’s bad 2 fatal crashes. The LET L-410, with 10x as many fatal crashes than the MAX.

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To be fair, after all the groundings and the scrutiny that surrounds the plane now, MAX will probably be the safest once it’s flying again.

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Awesome post! Really loved this one!

Bruh moment, I didn’t even realize Qantas is an acronym 👀

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Here’s everything Qantas is looking at from their investor report:

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While the MAX definitely isn’t the safest aircraft, I wouldn’t go to the extent of saying it is the world unsafest. Aircraft such as the TU-154 are when worse than the MAX. The TU-154 has been 69 hull loss incidents (30 of which were not fatal) with a total of 110 accidents with a total fatality toll of 3,108.

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Fixed now :)

Okay people let’s use some common sense. The Plane has had 2 crashes and y’all are calling it the most unsafe plane… please please double check and fact check yourself before posting some false information. A little research goes along way

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I don’t see a problem. The 737 MAX had a rocky start, but once Boeing gets it fixed, it should be fine.

Folks little research goes along way.: https://www.aerotime.aero/aerotime.extra/22874-top-5-dangerous-aircraft-models

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As you mentioned, Qantas is going to use the 737-MAX to show the world that it is not an unsafe plane. A lot of U.S. pilots actually preferred to fly the Max than the regular 800’s and 900’s! It sadly got its reputation ruined by media and other companies not giving the proper training, yes it is Boeing’s fault too by giving them an iPad training course and a Simulation video that is around about two hours. Qantas is also going to use the MAX as leverage to ask Boeing “Hey, we bought your MAX and it works well and there is no “bashing”, so how about you give us some 787’s for a little cheaper than normal price!”. But an awesome post did not know it was an acronym!

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@N1DG, I don’t see where someone said it was the “most unsafe plane”.

All he said is one of the world’s most unsafe jets, which isn’t necessarily true.

@N1DG on the other hand, 346 people in a few months is not amazing

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It’s not one of the most unsafe planes. Does it have things wrong m. Absolutely. Did Boeing mess up yes. But let’s me real, ANY plane is going to have problems. I can name a few accidents with airplanes that were “cutting edge” and advanced for the lifetime.

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