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QANTAS appoints new CEO as investigations con -

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ELEANOR HALL: QANTAS this morning announced its new CEO just as the airline that prides itself on
its reputation for safety is investigating what caused a large hole to open in the side of one of
its 747s over the weekend.

Alan Joyce - who now runs the budget airline operator, Jetstar - will take over from Geoff Dixon in

In the meantime, four investigations are now underway into what happened on board QF 30 on Friday.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is focusing on whether an exploding oxygen tank ripped the
hole in the plane.

Alison Caldwell has our report.

ALISON CALDWELL: It's not surprising that three days after the mid-air scare on board QF 30,
passengers are still coming to terms with what happened.

Some called into ABC local radio in Melbourne this morning, to share their thoughts about what

QANTAS PASSENGER: I was frightened but I wasn't... It happened and like we just had to sit it out.
There was nothing we could physically do to change what was happening up there.

I think we all thought that we were headed for the ocean.

It was a very controlled drop.

QANTAS PASSENGER 2: There was a big bang. There was no air in your lungs. There is air vapour like
a cloud in the top of the cabin which disappears quite quickly and you've got to get your mask on.

And these masks should be banned on these aeroplanes. They are so awkward to use, it is not funny.

Even when the mask is on, the oxygen takes some time to take effect on your body and reverse the
onset of hypoxia which I was certainly suffering from.

ALISON CALDWELL: There are now at least four investigations underway into what exactly happened on
board QANTAS Flight 30 over Manila.

QANTAS, Boeing, Philippines authorities and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau are all
investigating the accident.

At this stage, the focus is on the missing oxygen bottle. The discovery of fragments embedded in
baggage and in the compartment's ceiling strongly supports the view that one of the cylinders
exploded, tearing a three-metre hole in the fuselage and forcing the pilots to descend rapidly
through thousands of feet.

Peter Gibson is with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, he says the oxygen cylinder scenario is
unheard of.

PETER GIBSON: if it turns out that that is the cause of the accident, the cause of the hole in the
side of the aircraft, obviously that is going to be key part of the investigation - working out why
a bottle would suddenly give way.

As far as we can determine, this has never happened before on a passenger aircraft. There are no
reports of it anywhere so it is very, very unusual and obviously understanding why that happened
will be absolutely critical to making sure that it can't occur again.

ALISON CALDWELL: Passengers are standing by claims that some oxygen masks didn't work. QANTAS says
that's not true.

Peter Gibson says it's too early to say.

PETER GIBSON: There probably was a bit of confusion but look the bottom line is, the investigation
itself will look at all these issues. It will look at all the masks and what's deployed, what's not
deployed, the quality of the masks. There will be interviews done with the cabin crew so all these
things will be looked at.

But it is really just too early at this stage to make any judgements on whether that is, those
comments are being made because there was a failure or simply because people were a bit confused
about what to do.

ALISON CALDWELL: Metal fractures, wear and corrosion are also being investigated.

QANTAS Capt Mike Glynn is the vice-president of the Australian and International Pilots

MIKE GLYNN: This is actually an event that is planned for on every flight and we are required to
have fuel to go to a diversion point at all points during a flight.

There is stress, there is no two ways about that but we have a lot of respect for the way these
aircraft are built. I personally having seen the pictures myself I think, well yes, that is a large
hole but the aircraft performed fantastically and I believe it could have kept on going for quite
some time.

ALISON CALDWELL: The association is concerned that Australia's safety standards are under attack
due to cost cutting. While not providing examples, the Association says standards are nowhere near
as good as they once were.

Captain Mike Glynn again.

MIKE GLYNN: It is something we have always got to guard against is this trend we have seen to try
to reduce costs.

The costs in flying an aircraft are basically fixed and if you are going to try to reduce those
costs, you have to question where the fat comes from.

ALISON CALDWELL: But QANTAS' chief pilot has defended Australia's safety standards declaring they
are still the highest in the world. Even so Capt Chris Manning says Australian standards are being
harmonised with the rest of the world.

CHRIS MANNING: Australian regulations are changing to be harmonised with the rest of the world.
That doesn't mean they are lower, that means they are different and to be frank, they should have
been changed a number of years ago so that modern regulatory rules are observed in Australia.

ALISON CALDWELL: When you say they are different, how are they going to be different?

CHRIS MANNING: Only marginally different. We in flight operations aren't going to see any
difference. We are just seeing the rules being brought up to date so that they reflect what is
available on our aircraft.

ALISON CALDWELL: Curiously QANTAS chose today to announce its new CEO to replace Geoff Dixon when
he leaves in November.

Jetstar CEO Alan Joyce has already started working alongside Geoff Dixon, as part of the handover.

Like British Airways, the QANTAS Group has chosen a former Aer Lingus employee to head up the

A maths graduate, Alan Joyce began his career with the Irish carrier before joining Ansett. Geoff
Dixon hired him to set up Jetstar, which is now QANTAS' fastest growing business.

QANTAS' executive general manager of airlines, John Borghetti and its chief financial officer,
Peter Gregg were both passed over, seen as more of the same by the board.

Unions are wary, given the increased presence of former Rio Tinto mining executives on the board of

Domestic pilots with Jetstar are paid up to 25 per cent less than QANTAS pilots. To move between
the airlines a pilot has to quit and start all over again from the bottom.

Peter Somerville is with the Australian and International Pilots Association.

PETER SOMERVILLE: Well, there will be a degree of caution in regard to Alan Joyce's appointment. Of
course, QANTAS pilots welcome the end to the uncertainty surrounding just when Geoff Dixon would
step down and hopefully the airline can go forward now.

But nevertheless, as with any new CEO there is a degree of caution.

ELEANOR HALL: That is Peter Somerville from the Australian and International Pilots Association,
ending Alison Caldwell's report.