Rolls-Royce silent on Qantas legal threat

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Rolls-Royce on Thursday gave no response to an announcement by Qantas that the Australian airline had launched moves to pursue possible legal action against the British engine maker.

But Rolls did issue a statement in which a spokesperson noted that an official Australian investigation into a recent plane engine failure was "consistent" with the company's own view.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said a misaligned component had thinned the wall of an oil pipe in a Rolls engine, causing "fatigue cracking" that prompted leakage and a fire on an Airbus superjumbo in November.

Qantas initially grounded all six of its Airbus superjumbos after the blast over Indonesia, which forced an A380 to return to Singapore airport trailing smoke.

Qantas meanwhile laid the ground on Thursday to sue Rolls-Royce after the Australian air safety officials probing the A380 engine blast reported a potentially "catastrophic" problem with the turbine.

Responding to the ATSB findings, a spokesperson for Rolls-Royce said: "The safety recommendation of the ATSB is consistent with what we have said before. We have instituted a regime of inspection, maintenance and removal which has assured safe operation.

"This programme has been agreed in collaboration with Airbus, our airline customers and the regulators," added the brief statement.

© 2010 AFP

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