Qantas CEO blames 'engine material failure' for mid-air explosion on A380 engine

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London, Nov 5 (ANI): Qantas Airline CEO Alan Joyce has rejected as 'outrageous' union concerns over the outsourcing of maintenance of its aircraft, and added that the explosion of the engine on a Qantas flight was most likely a "material failure or a design issue" of the engine.

The airline grounded its six A380s yesterday after an engine exploded on a flight to Sydney shortly after take-off from Singapore.

Joyce also claimed that the A380 fleet could be back in the air in the next 24 to 48 hours after safety checks are completed on the planes' engines.

"We believe that over the next 24 to 48 hours those checks will be complete on all of the A380s and if we don't find any adverse findings out of the checks the aircraft will resume operations," the Courier Mail quoted Joyce, as saying.

He further informed that Rolls Royce, which makes the Trent 900 engine that powered the A380 plane, had identified a number of "potential causes" for the incident which forced the plane into an emergency landing.

Citing the possibility of design problem as the cause of the emergency landing, Joyce said the cause of the engine failure was still being investigated, but remained adamant that it was not a maintenance issue. He claimed that over 90 per cent of maintenance last year was done onshore.

He also assured that 1000 passengers affected by the cancellation of A380 flights have been provided accommodation.

Qantas has suspended all of its A380 flights across the world while the carrier investigates the cause of the blast in one of the plane's four engines shortly after departing Singapore for Sydney yesterday, the paper said.

The Airbus A380 was just six minutes from Singapore's Changi Airport and still climbing when the first of two loud bangs shook the cabin.

Joyce stated further that the A380s would remain grounded for "as long as it takes for us to be absolutely sure that the aircraft are going to be safe to fly". (ANI)

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