Qantas, Korean Air check A380s for wing cracks

Thu Feb 9, 2012 2:38am EST
 
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By Narayanan Somasundaram and Ju-min Park

SYDNEY/SEOUL (Reuters) - Qantas Airways and Korean Air will carry out inspections for wing cracks on their Airbus A380 superjumbo planes earlier than previously scheduled, after European air safety officials ordered global checks, warning of a safety risk if the defects were not fixed.

Singapore Airlines has been carrying out precautionary inspections of its A380s since January 20 and has been forced to repair eight aircraft, the airline said.

"The safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and we will ensure that we take whatever action is needed for the continued safe operation of our A380 fleet," Singapore Airlines said on Thursday

Australia's Qantas Airways has already grounded one A380 for a week after discovering 36 separate wing cracks after a turbulent flight from London.

Despite the ongoing news of defects in the world's largest passenger plane, air travelers continued to repose trust in the aircraft, the airline and a ticketing agency said.

"The A380 is still our most popular aircraft and we have not seen any impact on ticket sales. These things happen with various aircraft. There are no broader concerns about the A380 now," said a Qantas spokesman.

Australia's arm of global travel company Flight Centre Ltd, said it was unaware of any shift in customer sentiment away from A380s or airlines with A380s.

"There's certainly nothing that we've become aware of," said spokesman Haydn Long.   Continued...

 
<p>Qantas Airways flight QF31, an Airbus A380 bound for Singapore and London, takes off from Sydney airport November 27, 2010. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne</p>