Technical troubles ground Qantas' A380 fleet

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Australia's Qantas Airways is working to get its Airbus A380 fleet back in full service after all three of its aircraft were grounded over the past 24hr as a result of technical issues.

The Oneworld alliance carrier confirms in a statement to ATI that all three of its A380s were grounded, two for the same reason and one for a different reason. One is already back in service, another is due back in service later today and the third should go back in service tomorrow.

"Qantas is an early customer of the A380 and naturally, as with any new aircraft type and like other operators of the A380, we expect the occasional issue to arise," says the airline.

"We are working very closely with Airbus to resolve these but we remain committed to the A380 as the cornerstone of our new generation product offering."

Qantas says two of its A380s were declared "unserviceable with a fuel tank indication system problem" while the third "experienced a nose wheel ground steering issue and an unrelated fuel leak issue". A spokesman says from Sydney that no additional details are available about the technical troubles.

"We have deployed Boeing 747s to cover affected services and all passengers are travelling in their booked class or higher," the carrier adds.

Qantas says the first aircraft to be put back into service is currenly operating as flight QF10 on a London-Singapore-Melbourne routing, having departed London Heathrow at 23:25 on 2 March.

It says a second A380 is scheduled to operate flight QF31 on a Sydney-Singapore-London Heathrow routing departing Sydney at 17:40 today.

"The third A380 is scheduled to be back in operation tomorrow," it adds.