Qantas Airways has discovered "type two" cracks on two of its Airbus A380 aircraft and is now in talks with the airframer the cost implications of repairs.

The carrier found "fewer than 10" cracks on the wing-rib feet on the affected aircraft, a spokesman said.

The cracks were discovered on aircraft VH-OQA and VH-OQB, in February and March, respectively, after the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) ordered checks on the worldwide fleet of A380s.

VH-OQB has since been returned to service while VH-OQA, the same aircraft that suffered an uncontained engine failure near Singapore in November 2010, is still undergoing tests.

"We are in discussions with Airbus about the cost implications of the inspection and repair requirements," says Qantas.

The spokesman adds that Qantas continues to comply fully with the EASA airworthiness directive mandating inspections on A380 wing-rib feet and that the cracks pose no risks to the safety of the affected aircraft.

The Australian carrier grounded another A380 - VH-OQF - last month after 36 cracks were found on the wing-rib feet.

On 8 March, Airbus parent EADS said it had made a €105 million ($138 million) provision to cover the cost of repairs to the initial 67 A380s in service.

No mention was made of any provision for compensation and the airframer could not immediately indicate whether there would be additional costs arising from manufacturing changes.

Emirates is also seeking compensation from the aircraft manufacturer for the disruption to its operations caused by the discovery of the cracks on 10 of its A380s.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news