Aviation

Investigation finds Jetstar’s boarding system to blame for passenger overloading

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has discontinued its three-year investigation into multiple passenger overloading events involving Jetstar Airways.

The investigation focused on five separate occasions between 2015 and 2017 where Jetstar Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft were loaded with incorrect passenger distributions or with incorrect passenger numbers used to determine the aircrafts’ weight and balance.

“This placed increased operational pressure on flight and cabin crews and, on at least one occasion, adversely affected aircraft performance during take-off,” according to a notice posted on the ATSB website last week.

“Records show that there were other flights where erroneous passenger loading was discovered before pushback.”

Four of the occurrences followed Jetstar’s introduction of a new type of mobile boarding manager (MBM) device used to scan passenger boarding passes and tally the passengers as they boarded.

In each case, the ATSB found that technical faults and/or erroneous operation of the MBM led to incorrect passenger loading information being provided to flight crews.

On two of those occasions, passenger seating allocations were erroneous after a late change of aircraft type.

However, the ATSB noted that Jetstar’s organisational context has significantly changed in the three years since the investigation began, likely making some of the organisational aspects of the investigation no longer relevant.

Jetstar has also conducted internal safety investigations into the relevant occurrences, and has taken action to address those issues in regular consultation with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

“Based on the available information, the risk controls currently in place and the operating context, the ATSB considers any undetected passenger loading problem associated with the identified limitations were very unlikely to have a significant operational impact,” the report said.

“Consequently, the ATSB has discontinued this investigation, and will communicate all additional provisional safety issues and learnings to the operator to reduce future risk.”

Commenting on the ATSB’s investigation, Jetstar head of safety Matt Franzi said the airline had several instances of weight and balance discrepancies caused chiefly by a fault with the devices its crew use to scan boarding passes.

“This fault meant that the number of people on board was misreported on some flights,” he told Travel Weekly.

“We investigated these discrepancies immediately and implemented new technology and extra safeguards, which has led to the ATSB discontinuing their investigation.

“There have not been any instances of faults with boarding devices since these incidents.”

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Destinations

WA, South Australia and New Zealand shut out NSW travellers

Sydney’s COVID situation is starting to get dicey, with some very tight restrictions coming into play both near and far.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Virgin announces massive competition encouraging Aussies to get vaccinated

Rumour has it Rex is also mulling an incentive out of fear that anti-vaxxers boycotting both Qantas and Virgin will swarm its flights.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Holland America Line cancels 2021 Aussie cruises

The line is the latest Carnival Corp subsidiary to pull the plug on Aussie cruises for this year.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Have you registered for Travel DAZE 2021? It’s free, but spaces are limited!

While you’ve still got time to register your attendance, we highly recommend doing so ASAP to avoid disappointment!

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Accor partners with IGLTA to promote LGBTQ+ tourism year-round

The hotel giant is extending its Pride Month festivities into a full-time commitment celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with W Hotels’ Craig Seaward

This week, the GM of W Sydney showed us how to make “toad in the hole”. We politely declined to eat the monstrosity.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Virgin Australia renews GDS agreement with Sabre, resumes Melbourne services and drops flight sale

We’re spoiling you on Travel Weekly today with a triple treat of news from Virgin.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Luxury Escapes unveils $200m vaccine incentive to reopen Australia to the world

The online travel company has gone CRAZY BIG with its vaccine incentive in the hope it will help reopen Australia’s international borders.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas boss Alan Joyce the most mentioned CEO in Aussie media (with Jayne and Skroo not far behind)

This CEO list is a little bit on the predictable side, and not just because it’s full of white, middle-aged men.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

AFL legend Kevin Sheedy narrates a ‘Love Letter to Victoria’

Sheeds has shown his tender, caring side with a heartfelt letter to his home state.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“You never felt alone”: Here’s how this Melbournian agent got through (another) lockdown

by Sponsored by MTA - Mobile Travel Agents

There is a common misconception that home-based agents are cut off from their trade community, but this agent reckons that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

“We have missed Australians so much”: Bali aims for herd immunity and open borders by July

Sellers of silk batiks and Bintang singlets are hurriedly getting their stalls ready, with Bali preparing to reopen to international tourists “within weeks”.

Share

CommentComments