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Tuesday
Nov162010

Qantas adapts aircraft route assignments after A380 failure

Australia's Qantas Airways posted to its website late last week that they are reassigning routes originally flown by their six grounded Airbus A380 aircraft, to other Airbus planes, and to the Boeing planes in its fleet.  Routes normally flown by the substituted Boeing planes have been assigned to other Airbus planes.  Qantas specifically mentioned routes involving the domestic destinations Sydney and Perth, and the international destinations Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo (Narita International Airport in particular) as being affected by the reassignments.  From November 5, the first full day during which the airline's six A380s were grounded, to November 11, Qantas operated all but seven scheduled flights across its "international network," according to the press release.

Qantas stressed that their six grounded A380s "will not return to service until there is complete certainty that the fleet [of A380s] can operate safely."

Singapore Airlines returned one of its grounded airplanes to service last Friday.  The Singaporean national airline, which immediately grounded its fleet of 11 A380s upon hearing of the Qantas Singapore-Sydney engine failure, returned all 11 to service the next day following tests.  Then upon discovering oil stains on some of the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines which power the carrier's A380s, it again grounded three of the super jumbo planes.  A second of the three was returned to service last Saturday.

Qantas, Singapore Airlines, and Lufthansa, the three airlines that fly the Airbus A380 with the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, "may need to replace one component" in the engines, before returning the airplanes to service.

Dubai-based Emirates, which also operates the A380, continues to fly the newest Airbus model with no problems.  According to Emirates, the Airbus A380s operated by Emirates use the Engine Alliance-manufactured GP7000 engine, rather than the recently troubled Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine.  According to Engine Alliance, the engine they build to power the A380 is the GP7200.  Engine Alliance refers to an alliance between General Electric (GE) and Pratt & Whitney, formed in 1996 for the purpose of manufacturing aircraft engines for high capacity, long range aircraft.

related story

 Qantas continues A380 engine inspection after mid-air failure (November 8, 2010)

original stories

A380 Update - Qantas Confirms International Network Availability (Qantas Airways)

Singapore Air Returns One A380 to Service After Engine Change (Bloomberg)

Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa May Need A380 Engine Fix (Bloomberg)

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