Qantas could resume A380 flights within 48 hours

Qantas flights with its fleet of six Airbus A380 superjumbos, grounded for safety checks following an engine failure in Singapore, could resume within 48 hours.

Chief executive Alan Joyce said all of the airline’s A380 engines are being inspected by the engineers of Rolls Royce, a process that should be completed within 48 hours.

“We are working closely with Rolls-Royce and Airbus,” Joyce said.

He said he expected the A380s back in service in “days, not weeks.”

Joyce added: “We believe this is most likely some kind of material failure or a design issue.”

The investigation was continuing into the cause of the engine failure after take-off from Singapore’s Changi airport.

Joyce said it was too early to say what exactly caused the problem, but he said the blowout was “an engine issue” and not one of maintenance on the two-year-old aircraft.

A statement said: “Qantas continues to work with Rolls-Royce and Airbus to fully understand the circumstances surrounding the engine failure ahead of taking the first steps toward to resuming operations.”

More than 70 international flights, served by other aircraft, will operate into and out of Australia today as scheduled.

Qantas A380s typically operate 50 departures each week out of more than 600 departures a week.

The airline’s flight QF10 from London to Singapore today will be operated by a Boeing 777 chartered from British Airways.

A decision will be made later regarding passengers with onward travel to Melbourne.

Flight QF31 from Sydney to London via Singapore will operate to schedule with a B747-400 replacing an A380.

“Qantas continues to provide assistance to customers affected by the temporary suspension of A380 operations, including hotel accommodation, where needed, and meals, as arrangements are made to get people on flights as soon as possible,” the airline said.

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