Due to technical problems, Qantas Flight APA has been cancelled. It has returned to the gate and all investors have been unloaded. Earlier this morning, Airline Partners Australia announced that its offer had lapsed and it “has decided not to pursue arguments that it did achieve voting power in excess of 50% by the offer deadline on 4 May 2007.”

There are plenty of things you can say about this aborted flight. Here are two:

  1. The system works. Whatever you may think of this fiasco, and the actions of the various flight crews involved, the Australian corporate regulatory system that is designed to protect shareholders did not fail shareholders. And the misguided actions of the Qantas board in the control tower will be subject to their own form of shareholder scrutiny.

  1. Don’t throw out your boarding passes. Once the embarrassing glitches have been sorted out, there’s every chance Flight APA will return to the runway.

Oh, there’s a third. It’s time to drop the flying metaphors.