Qantas says it has so far inspected three of its 14 strong Airbus A380 fleet for wing rib cracking, in accordance with an EASA airworthiness directive issued earlier this year.
“To date Qantas has inspected three aircraft for the wing rib cracking,” the airline said in a statement issued on Friday. “In each case limited cracking has been found, in fewer than 10 locations, and repaired. All three aircraft are now back in service.”
The airline says the cracking occurs in brackets which attach the wing skin to the A380’s wing ribs.
“No more than one Qantas A380 has been taken out of service for inspections at any one time. The inspection schedule for A380s has been planned in advance and there has been no disruption to Qantas services,” said Qantas Group executive Olivia Wirth.
“As each subsequent Qantas A380 approaches 1,300 flights it will be inspected and, if necessary, repaired.”
Qantas issued the statement to provide “clarification” around the A380 wing rib cracking issue, which generated media attention last week following a visit by Australian journalists to Toulouse for the delivery of a Virgin Australia A330-200.
The statement explains that Airbus is covering the cost of repairs under warranty arrangements “as per industry practice”.
“Qantas is also assessing any additional costs related to the process and will discuss these separately with Airbus where required.”