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Price tag for Qantas A380 engine problems: $80 million

Christopher Werth Feb 17, 2011
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Price tag for Qantas A380 engine problems: $80 million

Christopher Werth Feb 17, 2011
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TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: This morning, Qantas put a price tag on its superjumbo engine problems — $80 million. A few months back, a Qantas flight was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its Rolls Royce engines exploded in mid-air. The airline then grounded its entire fleet of Airbus A380s because of the incident.

Reporter Christopher Werth has more.


CHRISTOPHER WERTH: Today’s announcement is the first time Qantas has pinned a number to the losses it suffered from halting operations on its superjumbo planes. The problem took over three weeks to solve, and disrupted travel plans for thousands of passengers. Which is why $80 million doesn’t sound like much. Howard Wheeldon of BGC Partners says that although it seemed to drag on at the time, engineers at Rolls-Royce actually acted rather quickly.

HOWARD WHEELDON: Rolls Royce solved the problem. So I think, overall, I’m not surprised this figure is lower than some might have thought.

That said, Rolls-Royce didn’t walk away scot-free. Fixing the faulty engines cost the company $90 million. But Wheeldon says confidence in the engine maker has returned. And while there was some speculation the incident could hurt Airbus, the maker of the A380, he says although there has been some small delay in delivering new aircraft, it’s done no long-term damage to the company’s investment in the superjumbo jet.

In London, I’m Christopher Werth for Marketplace.

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