Qantas Grounds Its Airbus A380 Aircraft

All six of the airline’s Airbus A380s are temporarily taken out of service after an emergency landing in Singapore.

Qantas has grounded all of its six Airbus A380 aircraft following the emergency landing Flight QF32 to Sydney at Singapore’s Changi airport. The aircraft experienced engine trouble after takeoff from Singapore, a “loud bang” being reported by passengers following the successful landing. Fire engines surrounded the plane as smoke continued to pour out of the engine. The rear casing from one of the superjumbo’s four engines was clearly missing. Debris that is believed to be from the aircraft was found in Batam, an island in western Indonesia.

The aircraft was carrying 26 crew and 433 passengers, most of whom are being accommodated in Singapore until alternative flights are arranged. “It is a significant engine failure,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said after the landing. “We take our safety reputation and our safety standards unbelievably seriously. And we are not going to take any risks with passenger safety. As a precaution, we are suspending the flights of the A380 aircraft until we are comfortable that we understand the reasons for this.” He added that orders pending for more than 20 further Airbus A380 aircraft would not be affected.

More than 30 Airbus A380s are currently in being operated, by Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Lufthansa and Air France. These other airlines have not reported plans to ground their own superjumbos. Meanwhile, Qantas refused to comment on whether the eruptions of Mount Merapi in Indonesia could have affected the aircraft.