Singapore Air, Qantas say cracks found in Airbus A380 wings


Singapore Airlines and Qantas Airways said on Friday they discovered cracks on the wing ribs of their Airbus A380s, but said the cracks pose no threat to safety and repairs have been carried out.

The remarks came after Airbus said on Thursday that engineers discovered minor cracks in the wings of a “limited number” of A380s, but said the cracks were not affecting the safety of the aircraft.
“Cracks were found on a small number of wing rib feet on an Airbus A380 during inspections in the second half of last year. These pose no safety issue and repairs were carried out on the aircraft,” SIA’s spokesman Nicholas Ionides said in an email to Reuters.
“Repairs were subsequently carried out on a second aircraft. We have kept the relevant regulatory authorities fully informed and will be carrying out inspections and any necessary repairs on other A380s as they go in for routine checks,” he added.

Qantas separately said that “minuscule cracking” was found in the wing ribs of the Qantas A380 being repaired in Singapore after one of its Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines suffered a mid-air blowout in 2010.
“Investigations have found that the cracking is unrelated to the engine failure incident experienced by this aircraft in November 2010 and is not unique to Qantas. It has now been repaired,” the carrier said in a statement.
“No immediate action is required by A380 operators because the cracking presents no risk whatsoever to flight safety,” Qantas said.

Airbus said it has traced the origin of the problem and developed an inspection and repair procedure that will be done during routine, scheduled four-year maintenance checks.

SIA, the world’s second-biggest carrier by market value and the first operator of such aircraft, operates 14 A380s and has five on order, while Qantas has taken delivery of 10 of its 20 A380 aircraft on order, according to the airline’s website.

Both Singapore Airlines and Qantas are using Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines on their A380 fleets.