Emirates yet to decide whether to repair damaged A340-500

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Emirates is still evaluating whether to repair the Airbus A340-500 badly damaged in a tail strike at Melbourne in March.

Investigators are still examining the circumstances of the tail strike, which occurred as the five-year-old airliner (A6-ERG) was departing Runway 16 for Dubai on 20 March.

The underside of the rear fuselage was badly scathed during the incident and the jet is also reported to have hit structures beyond the end of the runway - possibly navigation antennas - before climbing away.

"At present, repair options for the aircraft are under consideration in conjunction with the manufacturer," says the airline. "A final decision on the form of repair of the aircraft is yet to be taken."

While little official news has emerged over the inquiry, unconfirmed information indicates that an error during take-off data entry may have led to the aircraft's failure to become airborne at rotation.