Qantas Airways is suspending all Airbus A380 flights after an engine failure forced one of the aircraft to make an emergency landing in Singapore.
"Safety is our number one priority," says Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. "We are suspending all A380 flights until we have sufficient information, until we are completely confident that all Qantas safety standards are met."
The airline adds in a statement: "We have commenced our own investigations as to how this incident occurred and have notified the ATSB [Australian Transport Safety Bureau]. We will continue to work with them as they investigate the issue."
© PA Photos
Qantas has six A380s in active service and another 14 on order. It operates them on its high-yield high-capacity services out of Melbourne and Sydney to London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, and Singapore.
The A380 involved in the incident, which had the registration number VH-OQA, was en-route from Singapore to Sydney. It made an emergency landing in Singapore after developing an "engine issue" shortly after take off, says Qantas.
VH-OQA was the first A380 delivered to Qantas, entering service on 18 September 2008. The aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines.
Television footage from Indonesia shows aircraft debris in the red and white colours of Qantas. Qantas engine cowlings feature the red and white Qantas livery. Indonesian media reports say an explosion was heard over the island of Batam, and debris was found littered over a field.
The aircraft had 433 passengers and 26 crew on board, says Qantas. There were no injuries due to the incident.