[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Qantas resumes A380 flights
Limited flights resume three weeks after a mid-air engine blast grounded the Australian fleet for safety checks.
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2010 11:00 GMT
The Airbus A380 superjumbo explosion on November 4 grounded the world's largest passenger aircraft [AFP]

Australia's Qantas Airways has resumed limited Airbus A380 superjumbo flights, three weeks after a mid-air engine blast grounded the fleet for intensive safety checks.

Alan Joyce, the chief executive of Qantas, joined the first leg of flight QF31 to London via Singapore, which left Sydney at 5:30 pm [0630 GMT] on Saturday with a full load of 453 passengers.

"It's great that we can reintroduce the aircraft," Joyce said.

"We are 100 per cent comfortable with the operation of the aircraft."

Only two of Qantas's A380s will initially return to service, with the airline taking delivery of two new superjumbos before the year's end and another two in early 2011.

The planes remain barred from trans-Pacific flights to Los Angeles because of the extra engine thrust required.

Engine problems

Qantas suspended its six A380s, which fly long-haul routes to London and Los Angeles, after a superjumbo's engine blew-up on November 4, forcing an emergency landing in Singapore.

Checks revealed problems with 16 of the total 24 Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines powering Qantas's A380s - four per plane - meaning the turbines would have to be replaced or modified.

"The decision to restore A380 services follows an intensive Trent 900 engine inspection programme carried out in close consultation with Rolls-Royce and Airbus," Qantas said in a statement this week.

"Together with the engine and aircraft manufacturers and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Qantas is now satisfied that it can begin reintroducing A380s to its international network progressively."

Qantas, which has never suffered a fatal crash in the jet age, had visiting English football star David Beckham pose on an A380 for the media this week, while Airbus ran full-page newspaper ads for the plane on Saturday.

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.