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Thu 4 Nov 2010 05:13 PM

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Singapore Airlines grounds superjumbo fleet

Asian carrier is second to suspend A380 services after Qantas engine failure

Singapore Airlines grounds superjumbo fleet
(Getty Images)
Singapore Airlines grounds superjumbo fleet
(Getty Images)

Singapore Airlines has become the second carrier to ground its A380 fleet after a Qantas jet was forced to make an emergency landing in Singapore on Thursday when an engine failed in mid-air.

The decision was made due to advice from engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce, as well as Airbus. The two companies suggested that Singapore Airlines conduct precautionary technical checks on its 10 A380s.

"Our engine manufacturer Rolls Royce and aircraft manufacturer Airbus have advised us to conduct precautionary technical checks on our A380 aircraft, following today's incident involving another operator's A380," Nicholas Ionides, Singapore Airlines' vice president for public affairs, said in a statement, according to Reuters.

"Resulting from this development, Singapore Airlines will be delaying all flights operating our A380 aircraft."

It is not yet clear how many flights will be affected and for how long.

Both Qantas and Singapore Airlines use Rolls-Royce Trent engines to power their ‘superjumbo’ aircraft.

The only other carrier to use Rolls-Royce Trent engines in its A380 fleet is Lufthansa.

Emirates and Air France both use Engine Alliance GP7000 engines.

The Qantas flight was abandoned 15 minutes after takeoff from Singapore when passengers heard what was described as an explosion and saw sparks and smoke coming from one of the plane's No. 2 engine, which was shut down.

Alan Joyce, the chief executive of Australia's national carrier, said the airline had opened an investigation into Thursday’s incident.

"We have decided that we will suspend all A380 take-offs until we're fully comfortable that sufficient information has been obtained about QF32," he said in Sydney.

"The A380 is a fantastic aircraft. This issue of an engine failure is one we have not seen before. We are obviously taking this very seriously, because it was a significant engine failure."

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