SIA's three A380s to return to service in 48h

Singapore
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Singapore Airlines (SIA) aims to return three Airbus A380s to service within the next 48 hours, after the aircraft was pulled out of the fleet for engine changes.

The Star Alliance carrier has carried out "precautionary engine changes" for three Rolls-Royce Trent 900 powerplants on the aircraft, says an SIA spokesman.

The three A380s were brought back to Singapore yesterday from Melbourne, Sydney and London for the engine replacements, after oil leakage was reportedly found in the engines during inspections.

SIA's spokesman says the situation has "moved on a lot since then" and the airline aims to return the three aircraft to service within the next 48 hours or less.

The carrier's engine checks follow the 4 November uncontained failure of a Qantas Airways Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine on an A380 shortly after take-off on a Singapore-Sydney flight. Qantas' A380 fleet has remained grounded since then, and indications point to an oil leakage in the engine as the cause behind the failure.

SIA is continuing checks on its fleet in compliance with an emergency airworthiness directive on the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 issued yesterday by the EASA.

"The ongoing precautionary inspections enable the safe and continuous operation of the fleet. These checks follow earlier one-time inspections, which resulted in some engine changes as a precautionary measure. Singapore Airlines has been, and will be, in full compliance with the directive," says SIA's spokesman.

In the meantime, the airline will deploy Boeing 747 and 777 aircraft on some services operated with A380s previously to minimise flight disruptions.

The changes will affect the airline's flights between Singapore and Sydney and Melbourne until 17 November.

"While the situation remains fluid, no other A380 services are affected at this point in time," says the carrier, adding that it is also planning to mount supplementary flights to and from Sydney and Melbourne if needed.