Qantas boss points finger at Rolls-Royce

City A.M. Reporter
QANTAS Airways chief executive Alan Joyce has said an engine failure on an A380 superjumbo should be blamed on the engine’s design and had nothing to do with the airline’s operations.

A mid-flight failure of a Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine on 4 November forced Qantas to ground its six-plane A380 fleet. The airline resumed some A380 operations on Saturday but four of the planes remain grounded.

Joyce told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) yesterday that his airline performed “exceptionally well” over the incident, which forced an A380 with 459 on board to make an emergency landing in Singapore.

“It was a new engine and it was absolutely clearly nothing to do with anything Qantas was doing,” Joyce said. “It was an engine that didn’t perform to the parameters that we would’ve expected.”

Although he admitted the bill was “still mounting”, he said that Qantas’s handling of the incident had probably enhanced its brand rather than damaged it.

“In the research we’re doing, people are aware that this was a Rolls-Royce problem, so that when we survey the general population the vast majority of people know that there’s a problem with the design of the engines,” he said.

Safety remained Qantas’s top priority, he said, adding that Qantas was maintaining some restrictions on its A380s, and they would not yet be operating across the Pacific to Los Angeles. Joyce said that decision was taken in consultation with Rolls-Royce and Airbus.