Qantas Not Required To Check A380 Wings -Spokeswoman

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The FINANCIAL — Qantas Airways said Monday it doesn't have to inspect for cracks on the wings of its Airbus A380 wings, after the airline was excluded from an air-worthiness directive issued by Europe's air-safety agency,according to London Stock Exchange.


A Qantas spokeswoman told Dow Jones Newswires that while the airline hadn't been advised to carry out any inspections, the company would carefully monitor the outcome of those that are made by other carriers.

Airbus confirmed Thursday the discovery of cracks in L-shaped brackets that attach the wings' metal skin to structural ribs inside. Then on Friday, the European Aviation Safety Agency published an air-worthiness directive on Friday calling for prompt, detailed inspection of the wings of 20 A380 super jumbos, the world's largest passenger aircraft.

The agency said the inspections would have to be carried out on aircraft that had completed more than 1,300 flights within six weeks of January 24, 2012, and on ones that had completed more than 1,800 flights within four days of January 20,2012.

"EASA and Airbus are working closely together to ensure the continuing safe operations of the A380 aircraft type," the agency said, adding that it and Airbus had established a repair scheme if cracks were found during inspections.

Qantas flies 11 A380s in its fleet. One was involved in an emergency in November 2010, when an engine manufactured by Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC failed over Batam island in Indonesia, shortly after the plane took off from Singapore. Repairs on that A380 are expected to be completed in Singapore by March. Qantas shares at 0049 GMT were up 0.8% at A$1.54.



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