Qantas to ground four Boeing 737-300 freighter aircraft

Sydney, Australia - The Australian operator Qantas announced that it had taken four Boeing 737 cargo planes out of service, which were converted from passenger to freighter by the Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI).

Qantas has taken this decision due to a potential defect with a part within the aircraft's cargo cabin.

IAI had converted the four Boeing 737-300s for the Australian carrier in 2006. Qantas operates these planes on its domestic cargo routes since then.

The affected part is a rigid barrier in front of the cargo cabin as an additional safety feature separating the cargo section from the cockpit.

The part is not coming from the original design of the Boeing 737-300. It was installed during the conversion process of the planes to the freighter.

A Qantas spokesperson said the grounding was not expected to affect parcel deliveries for Christmas.

We have a number of contingencies in place, including access to cargo space on passenger flights and leasing aircraft from other operators, so we aren’t anticipating delays in freight reaching its destination,

the spokesman added.

The planes are currently being examined by the Qantas and IAI engineers.