Airbus Alert: Wing Inspections Extended to Entire A380 Fleet
European air safety officials now plan to have all 68 in-service Airbus A380s inspected for wing cracks, Reuters reported citing sources close to the matter.
The move follows Qantas Airways’ decision to ground one of its aircraft after engineers found 36 cracks in the wings following the the plane’s encounter with severe turbulence.
The order to check the entire fleet of superjumbos indicates the flaws may be structural and widespread, Reuters said. This could cause attention to focus again on defects found in flagship jets at both Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Airbus. However, the companies say their newest aircraft are still safe and the problems were discovered at an early stage.
Officials ordered inspections on one-third of the A380 fleet last month after cracks were found in a few of several thousand L-shaped brackets that connect each wing’s exterior to the internal structure.
A timetable for the new inspections has not yet been established, the report said. Planes will be checked as they cross wear-and-tear thresholds at which the cracks become detectable.
So far, no airlines have reported a decline in bookings related to the A380 cracks, but several are keeping an eye on the issue, said Reuters.
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