Qantas to resume flying A380 fleet
Nov. 25, 2010, Sydney, AUS - Qantas will resume flying some of its A380 superjumbo fleet this weekend, ending a self-imposed ban after a massive in-flight engine failure prompted a global safety review, the airline said Tuesday.
November 25, 2010 By The Associated Press
Alan Joyce, chief executive of the Australian airline, said two of its six Airbus superjumbos would be brought back into service as soon as they are ready, and two more A380s would begin taking passengers before Christmas. Those two planes would be new ones straight off the production line.
The decision to return the planes to the air followed exhaustive checks and fixes in consultation with Airbus and Rolls-Royce, the maker of the Trent 900 engine that failed.
"After those extensive checks with Airbus and Rolls-Royce we are completely comfortable with the operation of the aircraft," Joyce told a news conference in Sydney. "The aircraft have been grounded now for 19 days, and we believe it is appropriate to start the services this week."
An investigation is still under way into the exact cause of the disintegration of a Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine on a Qantas A380 shortly after it took off from Singapore on Nov. 4. Officials have indicated a fire blamed on leaking oil was the likely cause.
It was the most serious safety scare for the world's largest and newest jetliners, and prompted Qantas to ground its fleet. Other airlines using the Trent 900 engine aboard A380s, Singapore Airlines and Germany's Lufthansa, also briefly grounded some planes while safety checks were carried out.
Qantas's four other A380s are still waiting for new engines or parts that will be switched out before they are returned to service.
Joyce said Qantas had removed 16 engines from its A380 fleet to complete checks and fixes to satisfy its engineers the planes are safe to fly.