Rolls-Royce to take back A380 engines from Airbus
Rolls-Royce’s move could be another blow to a much-delayed A380 programme as Airbus was scheduled to deliver over a dozen Rolls-Royce-powered A380s — primarily to Singapore Airlines , Qantas and Lufthansa by the end of next year.
But both Singapore Airlines and Qantas, with a combined 22 A380s still to be delivered, said on Tuesday they had not been informed of any delivery delays. Qantas said it expected none.
“I can confirm that Rolls-Royce is arranging to supply some new engines from the production line to replace some engines removed from the serviced aircraft,” an Airbus spokesman said, without saying which airlines would receive those engines.
The Airbus A380 — the world’s largest passenger aircraft with a list price of about $350 million — has been hit by safety concerns after a Rolls-Royce engine partly disintegrated mid-flight, forcing a fully laden Qantas plane to make an emergency landing on Nov 4.
Airlines using the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines have been ordered by European aviation authorities to undertake major tests, which analysts said were so strenuous they would likely disrupt schedules.
Airbus is in the process of organising for engines to be taken off the A380 production line in Toulouse in France and shipped to Sydney to be fitted to the grounded Qantas aircraft, according to an article in the Aviation Business, which cited Airbus Chief Operating Officer John Leahy in Sydney last week.
However, Qantas — set to take five A380s by the end of next year, including three within the next few months — said it had not been notified of any delivery delays and expected deliveries to remain on schedule.