As Qantas prepares to celebrate its 90th anniversary, a second serious plane failure in as many days is taking the shine off celebrations and seriously denting market value of engine manufacturer Rolls Royce.
According to reports from Associated Press quoting a Qantas spokesman, a Sydney-bound Qantas Boeing 747-400 fitted with four Rolls-Royce RB211-524G-T engines landed safely in Singapore yesterday after an engine caught fire minutes after it took off.
The Sydney-bound Qantas flight, with 412 passengers on board, had been in the air for around 20 minutes when it "sought priority clearance to return to Singapore," Channel NewsAsia reported.
Reuters reported an unidentified Qantas official told Channel NewsAsia that the decision to return to Singapore was "a precautionary matter." The plane had flown into the city-state from Frankfurt.
On Thursday, another Qantas flight of an A380 made an emergency landing after one of its four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines failed minutes into a flight to Sydney. Debris fell over an Indonesian island in the biggest incident for the world's largest passenger plane since coming into service in 2007.
"We believe this is probably most likely a material failure or some type of design issue," Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told a news conference in Sydney of the A380 incident. "We don't believe this is related to maintenance in any way." Joyce said the engines had been maintained by Rolls-Royce since they were installed.
Rolls-Royce Group PLC, a London-based aerospace, power systems and defence company, separate from the car manufacturer, hasn’t made any public comment. But it is feeling the pinch as its stock price was pummeled, ending the week more than five percent lower.
Qantas operates six double-decker Airbus A380s, the world's largest and newest airliner which is as tall as a seven-storey building and capable of carrying 853 passengers.
European plane-maker Airbus and Rolls-Royce lost over $US1.5 billion in combined market value on Thursday, Reuters reported.
EADS shares were flat on Friday, after Thursday's 4 percent fall, while Rolls-Royce shares fell a further 3.3 percent to 601 pence after a 5 percent slide the previous day. Boeing was up 0.7 percent at $71.37 on the New York Stock Exchange, the news agency said. Qantas shares ended down 1 percent at A$2.86 on Friday,