QANTASLINK has denied reports that its staff moved a Royal Flying Doctor Service (RDFS) aircraft waiting to airlift two women hurt in a car accident so a QantasLink passenger aircraft could take off.
A witness told Central Telegraph on Sunday afternoon that they had seen QantasLink people push the RDFS aircraft off the bitumen at Thangool airport that day.
The RFDS aircraft was sitting at Thangool airport waiting to transport two women who had been injured in a car accident in which a Gracemere man was killed.
“The bitumen was extended at the airport in the last 12 months at ratepayers' expense,” the witness said.
“I see no reason for their action.
“The Qantas plane was late and there was heaps of room.
“The Qantas plane did not go anywhere near where the RFDS plane had parked out of the way. Why did Qantas people slap the RFDS in the face for trying to help?
“I am horrified by the lack of respect shown by Qantas staff,” the witness said.
Rockhampton RFDS base manager Trish Short denied there had been any “slap in the face”.
“We moved our aircraft back (out of the way) as a courtesy to Qantas to assist them to continue their service uninterrupted, on this occasion, as our patients were on their way but had not arrived at that stage,” Ms Short said.
A spokesperson for Qantaslink told Central Telegraph the RFDS pilot had asked QantasLink staff to help them move the aircraft.
The spokesperson said it had been to allow the QantasLink aircraft to re-fuel, as only one aircraft can use the re-fuelling facility at a time.
“There was no immediate emergency. QantasLink denies at any stage that it would put anyone at risk or inhibit the RFDS in doing their work,” the spokesperson said. “The witness's comments are ill-informed and without foundation.”