Qantas flight QF741 turns back after COVID-19 diagnosis on ground

After six Qantas baggage handlers tested positive for COVID-19, the airline cancelled seven flights on March 31, 2020. The cancellations include the airline’s domestic flight QF741, which was already in the air. 

The flight, operated by a Boeing 737-800 (registration number VH-VXB), took off from Sydney airport (SYD) at 15:35, heading to Adelaide (ADL). Approximately 1 hour 20 minutes into the 1h 40 flight, the aircraft made a U-turn and landed back in Sydney. 

The flight QF741 was one of seven Qantas flights cancelled on the day, after six airline’s employees working as baggage handlers at Adelaide Airport tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19 and dozens of their colleagues would be required to self-isolate. 

As of March 31, 2020, Qantas and Jetstar no longer operate international passenger flights, as they were suspended “at least” for two months ‒ until May 31, 2020. The airline group said it had grounded over 150 aircraft for the period, including Boeing 747s, 787 Dreamliners and Airbus A380s. Qantas still operates cargo flights (including international ones) and some domestic routes. 

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