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More problems with the A-380’s Rolls Royce engine

Stephen Beard Nov 8, 2010
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More problems with the A-380’s Rolls Royce engine

Stephen Beard Nov 8, 2010
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

BOB MOON: The Australian airline Qantas is grounding its fleet of six airbus superjumbos for another three days. The carrier has found problems on three more engines following last week’s scary engine failure on an A-380.

Let’s check with Marketplace’s Stephen Beard in London. How major is this problem they’ve turned up in these engines?

STEPHEN BEARD: Well, it’s not hugely serious in itself. They’ve found what could be a small oil leak in three engines. But since these engines are only two years old, this is unusual and it’s obviously a bit worrying in the wake of last week’s incident where one of these Rolls Royce Trenton 900 engines suffered some kind of blow out forcing an emergency landing.

MOON: How big of an embarrassment is this for Airbus?

BEARD: Well, this is a new aircraft. It’s only been in service for three years with a new engine. These kinds of teething troubles do happen. But as Mark Pilling, Editor of Airline Business Magazine, points out, the grounding of the A-380s has underlined the obvious downside of operating these superjumbos from the carrier’s point of view.

MARK PILLING: It’s such a large aircraft. You talk about such huge volumes of passengers that are disrupted when these aircraft go out of the fleet. I mean, in a way, luckily Quantas has only got six so far.

Even so, it’s proved quite a headache for Quantas to bring in enough back up planes. The bigger embarrassment though is probably for Rolls Royce, the engine maker, which is going through a bit of a sticky patch. The company’s also been accused of being partly responsible for the delay in the Boeing 787 because of engine test failures.

MOON: Our European Bureau Chief Stephen Beard in London, thank you.

BEARD: OK Bob.

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