Qantas does not expect to operate its fleet of six Airbus A380s for at least another 72 hours due to ongoing checks following an engine failure on take off from Singapore last week.

The fault has been narrowed down to a possible oil leak, according to the carrier.

“Qantas will not return its A380 fleet to service until confident the issues have been identified and resolved,” the airline said.

Despite this, Qantas said operations will be recovered and “significant disruptions” to passengers should cease within the next 24 hours.

“All Qantas aircraft are being utilised to ensure minimal disruption to scheduled international services,” the airline said.

“Qantas has scheduled extra services from Los Angeles to ensure passengers affected by the suspension of A380 operations are returned to Australia as soon as possible.

“The backlog of passengers in Los Angeles is expected to be cleared by last departure from Los Angeles on November 8 with all passengers accommodated on specially chartered relief flights and across scheduled services.”

The airline is continuing an “intensive inspection” programme on all Rolls-Royce engines in its A380 fleet.

As part of the investigation, Qantas engineers have removed a number of engines to undertake further examination.

“Engineers have been investigating the engines in detail and how their components and design perform under operational conditions, as opposed to the original out-of-factory expectations,” Qantas said.

“The focus of the investigation has been narrowed to the possibility of an oil leakage in the relevant turbine area. However, investigations on other areas of the engine are continuing, in order to rule out other potential issues.”

The inspections are taking place in Sydney and Los Angeles with airline engineers working closely with Rolls-Royce, as well as the aircraft manufacturer Airbus and Australian regulators.

Qantas is providing compensation for passengers who have suffered from delays.