Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Qantas looks to restart A380 flights to LAX

Qantas is expected to announce the restart of Airbus A380 flights on its key Los Angeles to Sydney and Melbourne routes this week. Based on indications from reservations systems, the airline could resume operations Jan. 17.

Late in December, EASA relaxed the requirements for checks of the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines used to power Qantas A380s from one every 20 flights to once every 200 flights.

While Qantas resumed flights to London on Nov. 29 after it grounded its fleet immediately after the Nov. 4 incident, it had not resumed US operations because it often requires higher thrust on flights from Los Angeles. The airline has been limiting take-off thrust to 70,000 lb. instead of the 72,000 lb. for which the engine is certified.

Qantas operates six A380s after its seventh and eighth were delivered in the second half of December. It will take delivery of two more shortly. The aircraft involved in the Nov. 4 incident remains in Singapore for repairs while another awaits an engine change.

(Geoffrey Thomas - ATWOnline News)

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