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Friday
Jun242011

Qantas settles with Rolls-Royce for 95 million AUD out of court

Qantas Airways announced earlier this week that it reached an out-of-court settlement with engine maker Rolls-Royce regarding last November's engine failure on one of the Australian flag carrier airline's Airbus A380 models.  The settlement is in the amount of 95 million AUD (70.4 million EUR; 62.4 million GBP; 123.1 million NZD; 99.7 million USD).

The deal was reached Wednesday morning, but during a press conference, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce refused to go into specifics.  He characterized the settlement as "a very good result," considering the recent downturn in the commercial aviation industry in general.

The A380 that suffered the engine failure happened to be the first A380 inaugurated into service by Qantas in late 2008.  It was given the name Nancy Bird Walton, after the famous Australian aviatrix born in 1915.  She was the youngest Australian woman to have a pilot's license, and during the 1930s, operated an air ambulance service in the Australian state of New South Wales.  She died in 2009, at the age of 93.

The Qantas Airbus A380 was scheduled to fly from Changi International Airport (IATA: SIN; ICAO: WSSS) in Singapore to Kingsford Smith Airport (IATA: SYD; ICAO: YSSY) in Sydney.  The engine failed shortly after takeoff, requiring the plane to return to Singapore.  Qantas grounded its fleet of A380s (of which there were six at the time) for inspections.  This prompted Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa to do the same.  In the time since, all three airlines have expressed confidence in the long-term soundness of the A380, both mechanically and from a business point of view.

Qantas, Singapore Airlines, and Lufthansa are three of six carriers worldwide to fly the Airbus A380.  The others are Air France, Emirates, and Korean AirAir France and Emirates were unconcerned about the safety of the A380s in their respective fleets, because the engines in all of their A380s are the GP7200, made by the Engine Alliance, a joint venture between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney.  Last November, Korean Air did not yet fly the A380.  But for the record, it chose the Engine Alliance GP7200 to power its A380, of which it has ordered ten, and currently possesses one.

related stories

Qantas looks at legal action against Rolls-Royce for engine failure (December 2, 2010)

Qantas CEO aboard first company A380 to fly since engine failure (November 27, 2010)

Qantas and Airbus point finger at Rolls-Royce for compensation (November 22, 2010)

Qantas adapts aircraft route assignments after A380 failure (November 16, 2010)

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

original stories

Qantas Reaches Commercial Agreement with Rolls-Royce (Qantas Airways)

Rolls-Royce deal drives Qantas profit (Sydney Morning Herald)

Rolls-Royce, Qantas settle over engine explosion (Yahoo News)

Qantas settles with Rolls-Royce (CNN Online)

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