Updated at 11.30am
ONE OF QANTAS airline’s planes was forced to divert to Dubai while travelling from Singapore to London after an oil problem caused one of its four engines to shut down.
The A380 plane landed safely with no injuries to any of the 258 people on board.
Exactly a year ago, another Qantas plane – also an A380 – suffered a mid-air engine explosion shortly after taking off from Singapore. The plane made an emergency landing and no injuries were reported. An investigation by the engine manufacturer Rolls Royce found the problem was “confined to a specific component”.
Qantas and other airlines around the world grounded their A380s to allow Rolls Royce to replace the relevant part.
A spokesperson for the airline described today’s problem as a “one-off incident” and said the timing of the latest engine issues on the anniversary of last year’s is a coincidence. The two events are unrelated, he said, but the airline is prioritising finding out exactly what caused today’s problem.
British actor, writer and presenter Stephen Fry was on board the diverted aircraft and tweeted:
Bugger. Forced to land in Dubai. An engine has decided not to play.
He later said that in the hurry to leave the plane, he forgot his wallet – but was happily reunited with it later.
The airline has been organising alternative flights for passengers of the London-bound flight.
Qantas was recently forced to temporarily ground its fleet over an industrial relations dispute with its staff. Full service resumed after an Australian labour court ordered the employees back to work. Both the airline and its employees’ unions were ordered to resume negotiations to resolve the dispute which centres on pay and conditions.
- Additional reporting by the AP