Airlines which operate Airbus A380s have been warned that a problem with cracks in a component in the wings needs to be addressed. Among the carriers which have been told to check their fleets by the European Aviation Safety Agency are Air France-KLM, Emirates and Singapore Airlines.
Emirates, which has the largest fleet of superjumbos on the planet, said it had already investigated the problem on one of its planes and was currently inspecting the wings of another. A spokesman said that there were no safety issues for the carrier and that schedules would not be disrupted.
EASA said it was concerned that if nothing was done to fix the cracked brackets there could be additional wear and tear over time which could turn into a more serious problem. Although the EASA has since told Qantas that it does not have to comply with last week’s directive, the airline’s engineers have said that they want to have the carrier’s fleet checked.
Paul Cousins, Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association president, explained that cracking in a wing component could cause pressure on other parts of the wing, and that this was a safety problem.
A spokesman for Qantas said that there was no threat to the operations of the superjumbos in its fleet. However, the carrier is continuing to work with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and with Airbus and will monitor the results of inspections by other carriers. If cracks are found, then airlines are being told to contact Airbus for repair supervision.