Singapore: Singapore Airlines today resumed flights on its A380 superjumbos after completing technical checks following a dramatic mid-air emergency involving a Qantas jet with the same engine model.
The Qantas A380, carrying 466 people, was forced to turn back to Singapore yesterday following a blast just minutes into its flight, which rained engine casing down on an Indonesian town.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said in Sydney today that an engine design fault may have caused the mid-air emergency on flight QF32 from Singapore to Sydney.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) said on its website that flights had re-started after precautionary checks recommended by aircraft manufacturer Airbus and engine maker Rolls-Royce.
As of 1:00 pm (0500 GMT), SIA said nine flights using the A380 had taken off after some delays, while two flights to Australia originally scheduled to use the superjumbo jet proceeded using another type of aircraft.
"At this point all flights served with A380 aircraft are due to operate. As the situation remains fluid, some delays may occur. We seek our customers` understanding and apologise for any inconvenience caused," it said.
SIA yesterday announced it would be conducting precautionary checks on its fleet of 11 Airbus A380s after the Qantas A380 plane was forced to make a dramatic emergency landing in Singapore.
Qantas immediately grounded its A380 fleet after the incident. It flew the passengers of the stricken A380 out of Singapore to Sydney today on a chartered plane.
Joyce told reporters that early signs pointed to a "material failure or a design issue" in the Rolls-Royce engines.
However, Joyce said Qantas`s five other A380s could be back in action within days, after safety checks by Rolls-Royce and Qantas engineers in Los Angeles and Sydney.
A team of specialists from European aircraft manufacturer Airbus arrived in Singapore today to help investigate the incident.
Airbus`s regional communications director Sean Lee said the team comprised six people.
"An investigation like this, we can`t tell how long it will last," Lee told AFP.
An Airbus statement said the manufacturer will provide "full technical assistance" to French and Australian accident investigators probing the first mid-air incident involving the world`s biggest passenger jet.