A Qantas jet was forced to return to Johannesburg late on Tuesday after a bird strike damaged one of its engines, the latest in a series of incidents at the Australian airline since an engine failure on an Airbus A380 nearly two weeks ago.
The Sydney-bound Boeing 747 with 171 passengers suffered minor engine damage and would be delayed by more than a day as Qantas had to ship replacement parts to South Africa from Australia, a spokesman said. "The pilot followed standard procedure and shut down the number two engine but there was never any danger," the spokesman said.
On Nov 4, a Qantas Airbus A380 with 466 people on board was forced to make an emergency landing in Singapore after one of its Rolls-Royce-made engines disintegrated mid-flight after an oil fire.
Just two days later a Qantas Boeing 747 was forced to make an emergency landing in Singapore with an engine failure and earlier this week, a Buenos Aires-bound 747 had to return to Sydney after a cockpit instrument failed.
Qantas has kept its A380s grounded since the accident and has used its 26 Boeing 747s to fill gaps in its schedule.
A Qantas Boeing 717 on route from Alice Springs to Darwin also suffered a lightning strike on Tuesday but the aircraft continued to its destination and only suffered cosmetic damage, Qantas said.