Qantas has grounded its fleet of Airbus A380s after one of the superjumbos was forced to make an emergency landing in Singapore.
One of the four engines on the giant double decker aircraft failed on a flight to Sydney. Flight QF32, with 433 passengers and 26 crew on board, landed at Changi Airport and all on board are safe and well, the airline said.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the cause of the incident “looks like an uncontained engine failure”. The airline’s six A380 flights have been suspended “until we are confident we understand the reason for this”.
“We are looking at what we need to do to continue the safe operation of the rest of our fleet,” said Joyce. Qantas operates A380 flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Los Angeles, Singapore and London.
The aircraft was forced to return to Singapore shortly after take off after passengers reportedly heard an explosion.
“There was an issue with engine number two and that engine was shut down and the aircraft arrived safely,” an airline spokeswoman said.
“We are now looking into the situation and we have engineers on board currently assessing the engine.” The head of Indonesia’s Air Transport Department says several parts from the Qantas aircraft crashed to earth on the island of Batam.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau confirmed it is sending four investigators to Singapore.
Meanwhile Lufthansa said it is to continue operating its Airbus A380 super jumbos as usual despite Qantas grounding its fleet following an engine failure.
The Germany carrier said it plans to operate its flights using A380s as scheduled today (Thursday). The airline has three of the giant double decker aircraft.
“At this point we are planning to operate our A380 planes as scheduled,” a spokesman for the airline said.
The Qantas A380 had to make an emergency landing after one of its engines failed after takeoff from Singapore. Qantas has decided to ground its A380s as a precautionary measure.
Airbus, the maker of the A380 aircraft, said it is offering technical assistance to Singapore authorities.