Qantas finds A380 anomalies

Australian airline Qantas discovered anomalies on three Airbus A380 engines and is keeping its fleet of the super jumbos grounded beyond an initial 48-hour deadline for further checks.

The airline’s shares lost as much as 4% on Monday due to investors concern about damage to its reputation as one of the safest airlines in the world and the financial impact of grounding planes.

“For all businesses it is imperative that safety is front of mind when running the business. Qantas has a pretty good track record and they probably get a lot of unwarranted attention,” said Jason Teh, portfolio manager at fund manager Investors Mutual.

A Qantas A380 engine broke apart in flight on Thursday, forcing the world’s largest passenger plane to make an emergency landing in Singapore with 459 passengers and crew on board.

“On three of the engines what we found is slight anomalies — oil where oil shouldn’t be on the engines,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce told ABC radio on Monday.


“We’re just trying to check what the cause of that would be. These are new engines on new aircraft and they shouldn’t have these issues at this stage, so it’s given us indication of an area for us to focus into,” Joyce said.

Qantas plans to hold a news conference later on Monday. Thursday’s engine failure was the biggest incident to date for the A380, which went into service in 2007.

Australian air safety investigators said the recovery of a broken engine disk may be crucial in understanding what caused the A380 engine failure.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued a statement and photograph of the broken disk and called on residents of Indonesia’s Batam Island who may have found the parts of the disk among debris to return it to the police.

“The recovery of that disk could be crucial to a full understanding of the nature of the engine failure, and may have implications for the prevention of future similar occurrences,” said the ATSB.

The three suspect Rolls-Royce engines from two airplanes have been removed for closer inspection and Qantas would give no deadline for the checks.

On Friday, it said it expected engine checks to take up to 48 hours but spokesperson Simon Rushton on Monday said the A380 would only fly once the airline was 100% confident it was safe.

Joyce said he expected the issue to be resolved in “days not weeks”. – Reuters

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Australian journalists flee China fearing arrest

Their dramatic overnight exit came following days of secret wrangling that had seen both men holed up in Australia's diplomatic missions to escape the clutches of China's feared security police

Facebook threatens ban on Australians sharing news in battle over media law

Australians would be stopped from posting local and international articles on Facebook and Instagram, the company said, claiming the move was "not our first choice" but the "only way to protect against an outcome that defies logic".

Empire and environmentalism: The legacy of a brilliant maverick, Richard Grove

The prolific interdisciplinary scholar who worked on the periphery and challenged Eurocentrism also drew attention to the El Niño phenomenon and global warming concerns in Victorian times

Invest in children to give them a better world

This entails putting them at the centre of national strategies, but doing it without high CO2 releases

Australia to force Google, Facebook to pay for news content

Australia's new regulations will also cover the sharing of data, and the ranking and display of news content, to be enforced by binding dispute resolution mechanisms and penalties

Olympics halt good for everyone

They took time, but the International Olympic Committee have finally done the responsible thing and postponed Tokyo 2020
Advertising

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

It’s not a ‘second wave’: Covid resurges because safety measures...

A simple model shows how complacency in South Africa will cause the number of infections to go on an upward trend again

How US foreign policy under Donald Trump has affected Africa

Lesotho has been used as a microcosm in this article to reflect how the foreign policy has affected Africa

Trouble brewing for Kenya’s coffee growers

Kenyan farmers say theft of their crop is endemic – and they suspect collusion

Unisa shortlists two candidates for the vice-chancellor job

The outgoing vice-chancellor’s term has been extended to April to allow for a smooth hand-over
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday