Qantas’s damaged A380 to return to service this year #QF32

Qantas A380
Photograph: AirSpace user Orville

The Qantas Airbus A380 aircraft damaged last November during an uncontained Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine failure on flight QF32 will return to service this calendar year, chief executive Alan Joyce says in Sydney.

“We’ll be in the air by the end of the year with that aircraft,” Joyce says. He cautions, however, that it could take as long as September until it is fully repaired.” The aircraft has been parked at Singapore’s Changi airport since the November incident. 

Joyce says the cost to repair VH-OQA, the first A380 delivered to Qantas, and two affected engines (no. 1 and 2) will exceed A$100m (US$99.8m). Insurance and contractual agreements with Rolls-Royce will cover the repairs, he adds. (Previous documents have indicated the cost of a new Trent 900 powerplant in 2000 was US$11m, so you can see the majority of the cost is for the aircraft.)

Qantas says A380 disruptions had a $55m cost impact in the first half of its financial year. The carrier estimates a further $25m impact in the second half of the year.

The November incident took out one of the aircraft’s two hydraulic systems and extensively damaged the port wing.

The A380 fleet was grounded for three weeks after the incident. Although services to Singapore and London resumed in late November, services to Los Angeles did not resume until last month.

Qantas has taken in Australia an injunction against Rolls-Royce but chief financial officer Gareth Evans says Qantas prefers to reach a commercial settlement. “We’ll take the time necessary to do that,” he says.

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