Qantas grounds fleet of Airbus A380s

An Airbus A380 takes off at the Farnborough Airshow on July 20, 2010 in Farnborough, England.

TEXT OF STORY

Host: The Australian airline Qantas grounded its entire fleet of Airbus A380s. That's after a flight to Sydney made an emergency landing after an engine ripped off. The airline owns six of the new Airbus jumbo jets.

From Sydney, the BBC's Phil Mercer reports on questions the incident raises about the future of the A380.


Phil Mercer: Passenger Christopher Lee was onboard flight QF32 when it lost an engine en route to Sydney.

CHRISTOPHER LEE: After leaving Singapore there was an explosion. There was a loud bang followed by another one and a rattling of the cabin.

This isn't the first problem with Airbus' two-story jumbo jet. Fuel and computer glitches have grounded several of Airbus A380s belonging to Quantas before.

The A380 is Airbus most important plane project in years. Airbus, engine maker Rolls Royce, and Qantas say they are jointly investigating the incident.

As a precaution Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce says the fleet will be grounded.

ALAN JOYCE: We would suspend those A380 services until we are completely confident that Qantas safety requirements have been met.

It is unusual for airlines to ground an entire fleet of planes, which highlights the seriousness of the incident.
No American carrier flies the plane.

In Sydney, I'm the BBC's Phil Mercer for Marketplace.

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