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Wednesday, 14 May 1980
Page: 2261

Senator Chaney -On 29 April 1980 (Hansard, page 1879) Senator Peter Baume asked a question without notice concerning behaviour of Qantas passengers. The Minister for Transport has provided me with the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The Minister has obtained a report from Qantas on the newspaper articles concerning passenger violence on Qantas aircraft. Qantas indicate that the newspaper reports appear to be based on incidents notified to the Company by the cabin crew on the flights in question. The incidents, however, as reported in the newspapers, have been subject to certain interpretations and embellishments.

Qantas indicate that there are no accurate figures available on how many incidents are related to alcohol abuse. In the 12 months to the end of March 1980, there were 127 reports by the Qantas cabin crew relating to the handling of difficult passengers onboard nights. This represents one incident for every 15,800 passengers carried. This can be compared with the Qantas experience for the 12 months to March 1979 of 167 incidents reported, which represents one report for every I 1,300 passengers carried. This is not a unique situation to Qantas as similar experiences are being faced by other international carriers.

Qantas does also have some strategies to minimise the reported abuse to passengers and crew. These are to be discussed and developed with the Flight Stewards Association on May 1, and will also involve participation of the Qantas technical crew and Flight Hostesses Association.

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