Qantas today announced it will resume Airbus A380 services between Australia and the US, beginning with QF93 from Melbourne to Los Angeles on January 16.
Despite resuming A380 services in late November following the November 3 QF32 mid-air engine failure and subsequent grounding of the type, the airline decided not to return the aircraft to Los Angeles-Australia routes as they regularly require the use of maximum engine thrust.
Since returning the A380 to service Qantas has monitored the performance of the A380’s Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, and after extensive analysis Qantas, Rolls-Royce and CASA are now satisfied that A380 flying on the Los Angeles to Australia route with use of maximum engine thrust can resume.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said that the decision would see Qantas continue the progressive reintroduction of A380s to its existing network.
“The decision not to operate Los Angeles services allowed us to gain further operational experience before deploying the A380 on these routes,” Joyce said.
“Only when we, our manufacturers and our regulators were completely satisfied that it was safe to begin flying the aircraft again did we resume A380 services, initially on London routes only.
“In the meantime, our A380 engine inspection process continues as we gradually restore the aircraft to our international network. We are operating a full international and domestic schedule, using our entire range of aircraft.”
For the rest of the month, Qantas will operate 14 A380 services a week, comprising QF9/10 Melbourne-Singapore-London three times per week; QF11/12 Sydney-Los Angeles four times weekly; and QF31/32 Sydney-Singapore-London daily.
A spokesperson for Rolls-Royce stated that the engine manufacturer was “delighted” that Qantas could resume its LA A380s services.
“All engine thrust restrictions have now been removed in agreement with Airbus, our airline customers and the regulators,” the spokesperson said.
“Immediately following the event of November 4th we agreed a program of inspection and maintenance which allowed the majority of the Trent 900 fleet to continue to fly as scheduled. This inspection regime has also been alleviated.”
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