Rolls-Royce hit in safety blow

EUROPEAN air regulators yesterday said Airbus super-jumbos with Rolls-Royce engines similar to the one that failed last week were “unsafe enough” to order compulsory checks on the planes, dealing another blow to the embattled jet engine maker.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) ordered operators of A380s with Trent 900 engines to make inspections after a Trent 900 on a Qantas jet flying to Australia partly disintegrated in mid-air on Thursday.

An EASA spokesman said: “The incident that occurred is considered to be related to a potentially unsafe condition in the engine.”

Rolls-Royce said it has been working with Airbus, airlines and safety authorities to try to determine the cause of the engine failure.

But one major airline, Dubai’s Emirates, has called for a clear line of communications from the UK manufacturer over the problem.

Emirates President Tim Clarke said Rolls-Royce should be more open about “what’s actually going on.”

So far the engine-maker has issued just two brief statements. But a Rolls-Royce spokesman said the company would provide another update today.

EASA said early findings showed that an oil fire in part of the engine might be to blame.