QantasLink has temporarily suspended the majority of its Bombardier Q400 operations following additional inspections of the airline’s seven Q400 aircraft this morning. Qantas Group General Manager Regional Airlines, Mr Narendra Kumar, said the additional inspections had been carried out in accordance with an Airworthiness Directive issued by Transport Canada and CASA this morning. “One of our Q400s has already been cleared and is operating as normal. “The remaining six are about to start the necessary work to enable them to return to service as soon as possible. “Safety remains paramount at Qantas and we will not operate any of these aircraft until we are completely satisfied that there are no safety issues,” he said. Mr Kumar said an extensive contingency plan was now being put in place, replacing Q400 aircraft on affected routes with Boeing 737 aircraft and chartering other capacity including Boeing 717 aircraft. “We are doing everything we can to minimise any inconvenience to passengers,” he said. He said that the airline had been working closely with the manufacturer and authorities since initial recommendations to operators were issued yesterday. Mr Kumar said the QantasLink Q400 fleet was relatively young, with the oldest having operated less than 5,000 cycles. “The aircraft involved in the incidents overseas are older model aircraft, with each aircraft having in excess of 14,000 cycles accumulated,” he said. QantasLink’s Q400 aircraft operate select services on the airline’s regional network in Queensland and between Sydney and Canberra. The remainder of QantasLink’s fleet - 40 aircraft - are unaffected and are operating as normal.