Qantas partially resumes A380 flights

08:52, November 25, 2010      

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Australian air carrier Qantas has announced a partial resumption of flights on its troubled A380 passenger jets. The return to services follows an engine blowout on November 4th. The decision was made after the company undertook engine checks and worked with the regulators of both Airbus and Rolls-Royce.

Australian carrier Qantas will resume limited A380 flights this weekend, after a near 3-week grounding for safety checks.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says the airline would put two of its six planes back into service.

Alan Joyce, Qantas CEO said "After extensive checking of our engines, working through with regulators both Airbus and Rolls-Royce, Qantas has made a decision to start A380 operations this weekend. With the first service operating on QF 31 flying from Sydney to London via Singapore and it will be the first scheduled service to operate."

Qantas says the A380s will stay off the lucrative Los Angeles route for now.

Joyce adds the other four planes would stay grounded, pending engine fixes that could take "some time", as 16 engines require attention.

Alan Joyce said "There is a number of different indications that could have caused an oil fire on the engines, having done all the checks and again out of the abundance of caution we've taken 16 engines that we regard as having a bigger likelihood of having a problem on them and as a consequence those engines will be modified going forward before we put back onto aircraft."

The partial resumption of A380 flights is welcome news for Qantas shareholders.

The airline's shares have fallen about 10 percent since the November 4th engine blowout, with analysts putting losses at about $20 million.

Relief will also come in the form of two new A380s that are due to be delivered to Qantas before year's end, in time for the busy Christmas travel period.



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