On May 26, 2021, Qantas Boeing 737 aircraft suffered damage after a baggage vehicle crashed into the aircraft on the tarmac at Perth Airport (PER) in Australia. 

The Qantas retro-style Boeing 737-800 aircraft, registered as VH-VXQ, sustained damage from a baggage belt loader vehicle while on the ground at PER. The crash into the aircraft left a hole at the bottom of the Boeing 737 fuselage. It is alleged that the incident occurred due to the baggage loader’s brake fault. No passengers or crew were injured during the incident. 

“We are investigating how this occurred and are working with our ground handling provider Menzies on this investigation,” the Qantas spokeswoman told local Australian media outlet Perth Now.

According to Australia’s Transport Worker Union (TWU), the incident occurred because Qantas’ entire ground operations were outsourced, as the airline slashed costs due to the ongoing pandemic. The union is now calling for a safety investigation into Qantas’ ground operations, as it claims that Qantas violated security requirements. 

“Workers or passengers could have been killed in this incident,” national secretary of TWU Australia Michael Kaine said.