Two planes belonging to China Eastern, a close partner of Qantas in the China market, came close to colliding at a Shanghai airport this week, according to Chinese media.
China’s civil aviation authority is reportedly investigating a “near collision” after an Airbus A320 passenger aircraft took off as an Airbus A330 was taxiing across its path.
China Eastern Airlines owned both planes, the news portal Eastday.com reported.
The report said that flight MU5643, an A320, was heading for take-off at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport on Tuesday morning when the captain noticed that a A330 was crossing the same runway.
The captain decided to press on with the take-off and the plane roared into the air just above the taxiing aircraft.
An official at the Civil Aviation Administration told the news portal an investigation had been launched into the incident.
Coincidentally, the news, which was also run in the South China Morning Post, emerged on the same day that Qantas announced its new Beijing-Sydney service, part of an expansion of Qantas’ joint venture partnership with China Eastern.
The new Beijing-Sydney service will also see three international codeshare routes between Australia and China added under the two airlines’ strengthened agreement: Sydney-Hangzhou, Sydney-Kunming and Brisbane-Shanghai.
China Eastern will codeshare on Qantas’ new Beijing service.
Written by Peter Needham