Earlier warning given over Qantas Airbus safety
An international safety warning was issued in August about the Rolls Royce engines used aboard the Qantas A380 super jumbo forced to make an emergency landing at Singapore yesterday after an engine exploded.
However, Emirates, which operates the only A380 service in and out of New Zealand, uses a different engine.
The engine used on the Emirates A380, which flies daily in and out of Auckland, is an Engine Alliance GP7200.
The Engine Alliance 50/50 joint venture between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney was formed in 1996 to develop, manufacture, sell and support modern technology engines for new, high-capacity long-range aircraft.
These engines were first used by Emirates in August 2008. Emirates confirmed in July this year it had selected the Engine Alliance engines for an additional 32 A380 super jumbos.
The Airbus A380 aircraft carries the biggest payload in aviation history.
Airbus has delivered 37 of the giant planes so far with 13 operated by Emirates, 11 by Singapore Airlines, six by Qantas, four by Air France and three by German airline Lufthansa.
The European Aviations Safety Agency warning over the Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines used in some A380s highlighted excessive wear as a potential safety hazard.
An air worthiness directive on August 4 warned that wear “beyond Engine Manual limits” had been found on the engines, which could “result in loss of engine performance with potential for in-flight shut down.”
Rolls Royce yesterday recommended a series of checks on the engines.
“The in-service fleet of Trent 900 engines is small and relatively new, and the group feels that it is prudent to recommend that a number of basic precautionary engine checks are performed. This process is now under way.
“We will continue to work closely with our customers as the investigation moves forward. This is at a very early stage and it would be inappropriate to draw any conclusions at this time.”
Qantas issued a statement today in which they said that the A380 in the Singapore incident recently underwent its first heavy maintenance check by Lufthansa Technik in Germany.
Singapore Airlines, which also used the Rolls Royce engines, said on its website that it had been advised by both Rolls Royce and Airbus to conduct precautionary technical checks on all its A380 aircraft after yesterday’s near-miss.
Qantas has grounded its A380 fleet following the incident.
In a statement to the UAE-based Gulf News Emirates said, “All of our Emirates A380s are operating as scheduled. Emirates has 13 A380s in operation, powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines.
“The safety of our passengers and crew is always of paramount importance.”
Lufthansa and Air France also indicated they had no plans to ground their A380 fleets because they did not use the Rolls Royce engines.
Asked if Air New Zealand had noticed any passengers switching bookings from
Qantas to Air New Zealand as a result of the A380 drama, a media spokesman said, “No."