Singapore Airlines grounds A380 fleet

Singapore Airlines has temporarily grounded its fleet of A380 aircraft following a directive from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) legally ordering operators to comply with a Rolls Royce service bulletin.

Issued on Monday this week, the bulletin requires all Trent 900 engines to be checked.

Pictured: An Airbus A380 operated by Singapore Airlines

The move follows an incident aboard a Qantas operated A380 last week, which saw an engine blowout shortly after departure from Singapore.

The only operators still flying with the troubled engine as of yesterday were Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.

A Singapore Airlines spokeswoman said the carrier was already fully compliant with the EASA directive as its engineers had completed the mandated checks on eight of its A380 fleet.

These had returned to service, while another three were undergoing precautionary engine changes in Singapore.

“We have completed the checks required and are fully compliant with the EASA directive,” the spokeswoman said.

The two airlines operating A380s with a different engine - Air France and Emirates - are also unaffected by the directive.

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Qantas

Qantas is unaffected by the directive as it decided to ground its entire A380 fleet immediately after one its aircraft engines exploded over Indonesia last Thursday.

The Australian airline has confirmed it has introduced a temporary schedule for its international network to ensure minimum disruption following the grounding of its Airbus A380 fleet.

The schedule enables Qantas to accommodate services across its entire international network over the coming weeks, regardless of when the A380s re-enter service.

Qantas said in a statement released today it was continuing an intensive inspection program on all Rolls-Royce engines in its A380 fleet, and Qantas engineers had removed three for further examination.

The engineers have been investigating the Trent 900s in detail, testing how their components and design perform under operational conditions - as opposed to original, out-of-factory expectations.