Singapore Airlines has discovered wing cracks in all six of the Airbus A380s inspected under a safety directive issued by European regulators.
The carrier insisted – as Airbus has stated repeatedly in the past month – that the cracks were discovered long before they posed any potential safety risks. The airline said four of the aircraft have already been repaired, with the other two expected to be fixed in the coming days.
The cracks, affecting L-shaped brackets connecting metal ribs with the wing interior, were first discovered during ongoing repairs of the Qantas A380 that suffered an engine explosion near Singapore in late 2010. More significant cracks were then discovered inside the wings of other A380s, leading the European Aviation Safety Agency to order mandatory checks of all A380s with more than 1800 takeoffs and landings. EASA gave airlines six weeks to inspect aircraft with between 1300 and 1800 takeoffs and landings.
In all, some 20 of the 68 A380s in operations worldwide are covered by the inspection order. Airbus has sold 253 of the superjumbo jet, the world’s largest passenger plane.