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Sat, Nov 05, 2011

Qantas Suffers Another A380 Engine Problem

London To Singapore Flight Diverted To Dubai

A Qantas A380 on a flight from London to Singapore was forced to divert to Dubai Friday after the airplane developed a problem in one of its engines ... one year to the day after the uncontained failure of a Qantas A380 engine caused the airline's entire superjumbo fleet to be grounded for nearly a month.

It was a bad ending to a bad week for the Australian national carrier, which started the week with a labor dispute which grounded the airline over the weekend.

The flight, with 258 people on board, landed safely in Dubai after an 'oil quantity defect" was detected in on of the airplanes four engines. A Qantas spokesperson said engineers were being dispatched to Dubai, and that the passengers were being re-booked to Singapore on other airlines.

Reuters reports that Rolls Royce, which makes the engines powering Qantas' A380s, is aware of the problem and offering "technical assistance" to the airline.

Adding to the airline's woes was the presence of British comedian and writer Steven Fry on the airplane, who promptly tweeted word of the incident to his 3.3 million followers. "An engine has decided not to play," he wrote. "Not a great week for Qantas."

An aviation analyst who asked to remain anonymous said Fry's tweets made the problem seem more than it was. He said the diversion seemed like a "precautionary measure," but the celebrity's tweets, along with the coincidence of the same date as last year, "has made it a big deal."

Qantas says the problem is unrelated to last year's uncontained engine failure. Spokeswoman Olivia Wirth said "this is a one-off. We will look to get the aircraft back in the skies as soon as possible."

FMI: www.qantas.com

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