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An Airbus A380 superjumbo belonging to Australian airline Qantas collided with a Boeing 747-400 jumbo from the same airline while being towed at Los Angeles International airport late Thursday.
No passengers were onboard either of the large jets, but the wingtips of both aircraft were damaged and two long-haul flights to Australia were cancelled, the airline and airport said.
“An investigation is in progress” into the accident, which happened on a maintenance ramp at about 9.30 p.m. local time Thursday (12.30 a.m. ET Friday), LAX said in a statement.
“A Qantas A380 wing tip clipped a parked Qantas Boeing 747-400 wing tip causing damage to both aircraft,” the statement said. “No passengers were on board either plane. No injuries occurred.”
Qantas apologized for the inconvenience passengers, who it said were being put up in hotels overnight.
“Both aircraft have been assessed by engineers and as a result the 27 February QF94 [to Melbourne] and QF16 [to Brisbane] have been cancelled,” the airline said in a statement.
“Customers will be provided with hotel rooms overnight and will be accommodated on the next available services.”
It added that Australian aviation authorities have been notified and a full investigation is under way.
The accident capped a difficult day for the airline, which had earlier announced it was cutting 5,000 jobs, and canceling orders for new planes to tackle a pre-tax loss of more than $150 million for the second half of 2013.
The Qantas statement added: “Staff at Los Angeles Airport were told [Thursday] that their employment would not be impacted by the restructure announced by Qantas.”
The Sydney Morning Herald said damage from the LAX collision was likely to cost the airline millions of dollars.
Justin Kirschner of NBC News contributed to this report.