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21 February 2024

Two Qantas planes clip wings in Los Angeles

By Agencies

Two Qantas planes collided while being towed out of a hangar in Los Angeles, the struggling carrier said Saturday, with the damage substantial enough to cause the cancellation of flights.

The incident occurred on Thursday evening US time, the same day the airline announced it would slash 5,000 jobs after posting a Aus$235 million (US$210 million) loss in the six months to December 31.

"The wing tips of two Qantas aircraft, an A380 and B747, came into contact at approximately 9pm (local) while being towed out of the hangar in Los Angeles. No passengers were on board," Qantas said.

Australian media reports said the planes suffered "millions of dollars" worth of damage, although this could not be confirmed.

It forced the cancellation of a flight to Melbourne and another to Brisbane, with a full investigation underway.

The incident capped a woeful week for Qantas, which is working to to save Aus$2 billion over the next three years as it battles record fuel costs and fierce competition from subsidised rivals.