Qantas A380’s grounded

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  LindsayW 5 Apr 2011
at 03:15

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  • Anonymous


    All of Qantas A380’s have been grounded – they have been out of service for problems with the fuel tanks and also with steering – Qantas have said:

    ” Qantas is an early customer of the A380 and naturally, as with any new aircraft type and like other operators of the A380, we expect the occasional issue to arise,” the Qantas statement said.
    “We are working very closely with (European aerospace company) Airbus to resolve these but we remain committed to the A380 as the cornerstone of our new generation product offering.”
    One jet is already back in service on a London to Melbourne flight, one is due to take off at 5.40pm (AEDT) from Sydney and the third will be back in operation on Wednesday.

    Lets hope this is not the start of things to come – does anyone know if the Emirates or Singapore A380’s have been grounded for similar reasons??


    I don’t know of any problems relating to Singapore Airlines but I heard that Emirates was having trouble with an A380 but in relation to the engines rather than the airframe. I think they had to take the empty plane back to Dubai on three engines for maintenance.


    SIA had the same problems with the fuel would hope Airbus would have learned from this…..


    Only slightly related…

    BA has bruoght forward it’s order of A380. Was 2012 but sounds more like 2010, from a whisper within BA.


    As a follow up – In my original post I was waiting to board an A380 from LAX – SYD when the flight was cancelled.

    I tried to get on the A380 from SIN – LHR on 24th and the flight was cancelled again!! Both times the A380 was operated by Qantas.

    I’m not sure if I am just unlucky when it comes to the A380’s or if this is a more widespread problem!!


    Well since I am booked on the evening A380 Flight with SIA tomorrow night lets hope no holdups ….( Bangers Via Singers)

    Hows Changi Airport doing now ?…last visit was about..err 15 years ago


    Looks like RR will be issuing some guidance soon as to when QF can use their A380’s again.


    Qantas have announced that the A380 will be back to flying USA routes from this Sunday with a MEL to LAX service.

    Service now resumed to both London (late November 2010) and LAX from this weekend

    This will be good news for QF passengers to Jakarta and Manila who have been having to have late changes to operating aircraft from A330s to 767s

    Also the SYD TO HKG has often been swapped for a A330 instead of a 747 on the late flight


    Interestingly, QF will operate the A380 on SYD-LAX, LAX-SYD, and MEL-LAX ….. but will NOT operate the return service LAX-MEL (that will be swapped to a 744 in an interesting bit of a/c positioning).

    The reason – QF is still not convinced it will be OK to operate the A380’s RR engines at max weight and max thrust – which is what the LAX-MEL service, with headwinds, requires.



    Does this mean they will be flying the A380 back to MEL empty? Or will it be deployed in some other way?


    No, they’ll be swapping around aircraft so your chance of getting on an A380 LAX-SYD is greater than getting one SYD-LAX.

    (Sounds confusing, but basically means they’ll be swapping around a/c so that a plane that comes in from MEL will end up flying one of the services back to SYD, rather than go back to MEL; bear in mind QF still runs lots of 744s into LAX – from SYD, MEL and BNE – and the MEL A380 services only run on certain days, so they can do some juggling and do LAX-MEL with a 744).


    Airbus is poised to intervene in Qantas’s legal action against Rolls-Royce for damages arising from a mid-air engine explosion involving an A380 aircraft…

    Interesting. Let’s see where it goes. The pre-emptive strike by QF to put this case in place early on (notwithstanding that they may settle with Rolls Royce and/or Airbus privately by agreement), allows them to subsequently withdraw the case…

    Now this story in today’s press:

    Airbus has succeeded in keeping from the public’s gaze documents that detail commercial contracts with Qantas relating to the purchase of its fleet of A380s….


    The estimation for the cost of the work will reach as high as $150 million.!!!

    Also they still haven’t start to repair the damage. :s

    ”Qantas has said that the repair bill would be at least $100 million, but more recent internal estimates have put it at closer to $150 million. The airline has repeatedly ruled out writing off the A380, named the Nancy Bird-Walton, despite the cost of the repairs nearing what it cost to buy the aircraft.

    The airline bought the A380 for about half the list price of $327 million, gaining the discount because it was a launch customer for Airbus’s flagship superjumbo aircraft.

    The airline has said the damage to the A380 will be covered by insurance and contractual arrangements with the engine manufacturer, Rolls-Royce. However, it is still locked in negotiations with Rolls-Royce about the damages. Qantas has reserved the right to sue Rolls-Royce in Australia if they cannot reach a settlement.

    The airline still expects the aircraft to be returned to Australia by the end of the year despite the delays to the repair work.

    It also denied speculation that the plane would need more extensive repair work at Airbus’s main manufacturing plant in the French city of Toulouse.”



    I suppose look at the options:

    1. Qantas get RR & Airbus to replace the engine and repair the airframe and fully covered by insurance and the ability to claim back from RR. Cost extimated of $100M to $150M and repair time another 9 months.

    2. QF order (or given preferential pricing) on a new A380, be at the back end of the queue to have another one delivered (to their specifications) and may take until end of 2012 or early 2013 before it can be delivered.

    3. QF wet (or dry) lease an A380 – well, let’s be honest, doubt that’s going to happen from any other airline, unless one goes into receivership and QF can take over the lease. Low probability overall.

    Addendum: They also have the civil action of damages to the QF brand by having their A380’s all grounded (so pax leakage to other airlines, as well as less pax able to be carried on QF 744’s v A380’s) – so loss of revenue.

    I’d think that option 1 + Addendum is the best option overall, when looking at cost (nil out of pocket, plus damages claim if it proceeds – but more likely RR/Airbus will pay an agreed out of court settlement), and time (late 2011 or early 2012 versus 2012/13).

    Will be following this one closely.

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