Posts Tagged ‘superjumbo’

Singapore Airlines investigates engine failure

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Singapore Airlines is working with engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce and planemaker Airbus to find out what went wrong with one of the engines on an A380 superjumbo recently. Just 20 minutes into a flight from Singapore to Hong Kong the pilot reported experiencing vibrations and a surge in one of the aircraft’s Trent 900 engines.

He was then forced to shut the engine down and fly the plane back to base. The double-decker was carrying 21 crew members and 368 passengers none of whom were injured. The incident comes eight months after dramatic engine failure on a Qantas A380 caused a violent explosion and forced an emergency landing.

Qantas grounded its fleet of superjumbos following the incident while accident investigators, Airbus and Rolls-Royce located the cause of the problem. They found that a design fault and a leaking oil pipe had resulted in the failure and Rolls-Royce has since repaired and replaced all of the Trent 900s affected.

Erin Atan, a Rolls-Royce spokeswoman, said the London-based manufacturer would be assisting Singapore Airlines and providing technical support to find out what caused the engine failure and get the problem fixed.

Managing partner at Agency Partners, a London-based research firm, Nick Cunningham said that the Singapore Airlines engine problem was unlikely to be related to the fault discovered on the Qantas A380. He added that shutting down an engine while a plane is in-flight is not such a rare occurrence as to be a major cause for worry.

Airbus has confirmed that it too will be assisting Singapore Airlines.

Arab carriers grow capacity at Manchester airport

Monday, March 21st, 2011

A number of Middle Eastern airlines have recently announced that they will be increasing passenger capacity out of Manchester Airport. Emirates has said that because customer demand was consistently high from the northern city it would be adding a service to Dubai on 1 May. Fellow Arab carrier Qatar Airways has also announced that it will be adding capacity between Manchester and Abu Dhabi on 1 August and Etihad will be doing the same between Manchester and Doha on 1 June.

All three are currently engaged in growing the size of their fleets. Emirates will add 45,000 seats through Dubai with an order which will grow its A380 superjumbo fleet to 90 planes. Etihad has 100 new passenger jets on order and Qatar a further 178.

By targeting Manchester, the Middle Eastern carriers are hoping to challenge the large international carriers operating out of the UK’s busiest hub, Heathrow. British Airways, which quit flying long-haul operations from Manchester in 2008, said it was not worried by the challenge because the airlines were not posing a threat on current services.

Willie Walsh, BA’s former CEO, said the carrier had tried to make a profit out of Manchester and had failed to do so. The airline, which recently merged with Iberia to create International Consolidate Airlines Group, is concentrating on growing its presence across the Atlantic to North and Latin America.

According to Irene Hulme, of luxury agents Travel by Design, many customers prefer to begin their journey in Manchester rather than suffer the crowds at Heathrow.

Emirates pushes ahead with recruitment drive

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Emirates said it plans to increase the number of cabin crew it employs around the world by 4,000 between 2011 and 2012. The airline has announced that it already employs more than 12,000 stewardesses and stewards and that the most recent recruitment drive is part of wider expansion plans.

The carrier currently flies a fleet of 152 planes and has a further 200 aircraft on order with various manufacturers. Currently flying a fleet of 15 Airbus A380s, Emirates has announced orders for another 75 double-decker superjumbos. The aircraft is the largest passenger plane currently taking to the skies.

Emirates is looking to recruit more German speaking staff to its ranks while at the ITB in Berlin. It will be at the world’s largest travel fair until 13 March where it has its giant globe stand. Visitors to the fair will be able to experience what it is like to travel on an Emirates A380 because there are replicas of the Onboard Lounge and the airline’s new Onboard Shower and Spa.

Tim Clarke, Emirates’ president, said the rotating stand was now more impressive than ever. He added that it was something to be admired and that it brought some of the best of what the A380 had to offer passengers to the heart of Berlin.

Emirates fist started flying the superjumbo in 2008 and since then some four million passengers had experienced the ultra-quiet jet. The fleet is supported by a cabin crew staff of 2,000 and 300 pilots. The airline flies to 111 destinations around the world.

Singapore Airlines to put superjumbo into service to LA

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

As Qantas announces it has started legal action against British engine maker Rolls-Royce for loss of revenues after engine failure forced it to ground its fleet of A380s; Singapore Airlines says it will be placing one of the superjumbos on its Singapore-Los Angeles route. The second largest carrier in the world said it will increase capacity across the Pacific as soon as Airbus delivers a new plane in the New Year.

Singapore Airlines A380s are configured across three classes and are capable of carrying 471 passengers. The airline’s Boeing 747-400s are capable of seating up to 375 passengers. According to Shukor Yusof, an analyst with Standard & Poor, the decision is a clever one and will allow Singapore to capitalise on the growing passenger traffic on transpacific routes.

Last month, an explosion in a Qantas A380 Rolls-Royce engine forced an emergency landing in Singapore. The Australian flag carrier immediately grounded all six of its superjumbos pending an investigation into the problem. Rolls-Royce has since said there is a problem with one of the components in its Trent 900 model.

Australian safety investigators have come to the same conclusion saying the component caused unexpected wear in an oil pipe which caused a fire. Rolls-Royce have since said they will be undertaking maintenance checks on all Trent 900s used on the Airbus A380.

Qantas is still not flying all of its superjumbos and has not yet restarted its service between Sydney and Los Angeles. The carrier is currently starting legal action against Rolls-Royce to ensure it is compensated.

Qantas starts to reintroduce superjumbos by the weekend

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

After nearly three weeks of being grounded Qantas has announced that it will finally be putting its A380 fleet back into service. According to the airline’s chief executive, Alan Joyce, Qantas has managed to get to the heart of the engine issue and feels it is appropriate to start flying again from the end of the week.

The Australian flag-carrier said a flight will leave Sydney for London on Saturday, making a stopover in Singapore. The Qantas A380 troubles started when a flight en route to Sydney had to make an emergency landing in Singapore following a large explosion in one of it Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines.

The aircraft managed to land safely with none of the passengers being injured. Qantas immediately grounded all six of its superjumbos as experts from Airbus and Rolls-Royce tried to get to the root of the problem.

Rolls-Royce has since said that it can trace the issue back to failure in a single, specific engine component. Problems with the component caused an engine fire. Oil leaks were discovered in three other engines. Qantas said that, for the time being, it will not be flying on routes which often require full engine thrust.

The airline said it had not yet entered into negotiations with Rolls-Royce over compensation. Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa, both of which fly Airbus A380s with the Trent 900, will also be looking for some sort of compensation. Qantas is due to have two more superjumbos delivered by Airbus before the year is out.