A Qantas aircraft travelling from Dubai to London was forced to return to Dubai International Airport an hour into the flight after reporting engine problems, it was reported.
A Qantas Airbus A380-800, registration VH-OQL performing flight QF-9 from Dubai to London Heathrow, with 347 passengers, was climbing out of Dubai's runway 30R when the crew stopped the climb at FL060 reporting problems with engine #3 (inboard right hand, Trent 972), The Aviation Herald reported.
“The aircraft returned to Dubai for a safe landing on runway 30L about one hour after departure... A replacement Airbus A380-800 registration VH-OQI reached London with a delay of 14.5 hours,” the report added.
The incident, which occurred on March 28, is more bad news for the Australian carrier, which last month posted a record $235m half-year loss.
Describing the result as unacceptable, CEO Alan Joyce announced a $2bn cost reduction program through to the end of 2017 with 5,000 jobs to be axed, route cuts and more than 50 aircraft deferred or sold.
Earlier this month, Emirates president Tim Clark also expressed his disappointment with Qantas’ dedication to the alliance the two carriers signed in March last year.
Clark told London newspaper The Telegraph Joyce had been forced to focus on his airline’s dire financial situation in the past year to the detriment of the Emirates partnership, which had been a lower priority.
“It hasn’t helped that they [Qantas] have had problems. When that happens to a relatively small group, there are other things that fall slightly by the wayside,” Clark was quoted as saying.
“I’m not saying for a moment that Alan has let our relationship between the two companies and the endgame ... slip, it’s just that he has got quite a tough situation on his hands.”
Clark said in December the alliance would not be deepened by Emirates bailing out Qantas.
He was in Sydney earlier this month for what he described as “our first get-together of any real flesh” since the partnership was launched, The Telegraph said.
Emirates has traditionally avoided alliances but Clark denied the Qantas partnership had been a negative change strategy.
“The partnership is doing what we thought it would do,” Clark said.
“Dubai has been a beneficiary. We’ve had many Australian tourists – 260,000 in the last 10 or 11 months have stopped over in Dubai.”
The airlines announced last year that international passenger traffic between Dubai and Australia rose 40 percent in the first six months of the partnership.