Qantas says its A380 fleet will not return to service until it is confident the issues with the Roll-Royce engines “have been identified and resolved”.
The Australian carrier grounded its fleet of superjumbos last week following an engine failure on a flight from Singapore to Sydney. In its latest statement (released on Monday November 8), the carrier said that at this stage it does not expect to operate its A380 fleet for at least another 72 hours.
The full statement reads:
“Qantas is continuing an intensive inspection program on all Rolls-Royce engines in its A380 fleet, but operations will be recovered and significant disruptions to passengers should cease within the next 24 hours.
“As part of their 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.
“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.
“These inspections are taking place in Sydney and Los Angeles with Qantas engineers working closely with Rolls-Royce, as well as the aircraft manufacturer Airbus and Australian regulators.
“Qantas will not return its A380 fleet to service until confident the issues have been identified and resolved. At this stage, Qantas does not expect to operate the A380 fleet for at least another 72 hours.
“All Qantas aircraft are being utilised to ensure minimal disruption to scheduled international services. 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 8 November with all passengers accommodated on specially chartered relief flights and across scheduled services. A Special Assistance Team has been deployed to Los Angeles to assist.
“Hotel accommodation, meals and international phone calls have been provided for passengers impacted by the A380 disruptions.
“Qantas will provide compensation for customers who have experienced delays.”
Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa, the two other carriers operating A380 aircraft with Rolls Royce engines, had briefly grounded their superjumbos for tests, but both have resumed services.
Report by Mark Caswell