Airbus delivers A380 to Qantas after delay

16th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus said Thursday it had turned over another of its A380 superjumbo airliners to Australian carrier Qantas, a delivery delayed after an anomaly with the plane had been detected.

"The plane was delivered to Qantas today in Toulouse (Airbus headquarters in southern France) a few days late," an Airbus spokesman told AFP.

Qantas, which has now received seven A380s, said a week ago that a "one-off problem" had caused Airbus to delay delivery of its newest A380 plane.

An airline spokeswoman said a "small anomaly" with the aircraft, reported by Australian media to be a faulty oil tube in the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine, had forced the short delay.

"It was a minor issue. A one-off problem was identified, and the issue has been rectified," the spokeswoman told AFP.

Qantas chief Alan Joyce told The Australian newspaper last week that the problem -- reportedly discovered on an A380 still on the Airbus factory floor in Toulouse -- had also been found on a number of planes run by other airlines.

"I think that it's good that we're homing in on it because it means we can replace the engines before they're an issue," he said.

The Qantas spokeswoman said the discovery was part of an ongoing inspection programme into Rolls-Royce's Trent 900 engines after one of them exploded over Indonesia last month, forcing a Qantas A380 to make an emergency landing.

Australian transport officials have identified a potentially "catastrophic" manufacturing defect that caused an oil leakage and a fire in the engine as the likely cause.

Qantas grounded all six of its A380s after the November 4 explosion and has since returned to service just two of the superjumbos.

Airbus has now delivered 18 A380s, the world's largest civilian aircraft, since January and is to turn over another one to Qantas by the end of the year.

Qantas has ordered a total of 20 A380s.

© 2010 AFP

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