Rolls apologizes, but its too late nowBy IAG | November 12th, 2010 | Posted in Aviation News | 1 Comment
Qantas’ A380s could be grounded for much longer than was first thought. Investigators discovered the emergency was caused by an engine fire after a component failed in the turbine area of the engine. The oil fire led to the explosive release of the intermediate pressure turbine (IPT) disc.
Rolls-Royce said it will fix this relatively minor problem, allowing all A380s back in the air, and apologized for the disruption. But its too little and too late. Rolls-Royce drove trade media nuts with only two information pieces since the event. As a consequence, media reports have been growing harsher and this has made the problem much worse than it needs to be.
Other airlines flying the A380, but with GP engines, are now concerned they are victims of the bad press surrounding the A380. It is a no-lose situation for them. Of the two airlines involved, Air France and Emirates, who do you think spoke out first?
"We really don't want this aircraft tarnished with a reputation for failures in certain areas," said Emirates' president Tim Clark. "One thing we will not allow is a contagion effect."
Qantas meanwhile has made schedule changes: A330s replace 747s on the Sydney-Tokyo and Sydney-Hong Kong routes, so the 747s take over from the A380s on long-haul routes to Los Angeles and London. The new schedule suggests Qantas is preparing for its A380s to be on grounded for a while. Almost certainly Rolls-Royce is going to eat the cost.
Singapore Airlines, which took three A380s out of service on Wednesday, has not ruled out the possibility of grounding more of them. SIA chief executive Chew Choon Seng said, "We are in very close communication with the aircraft manufacturer and engine-maker. Even as they analyse the data, the observations, they come back to us with new recommendations. It is an ongoing, continuous process.”
So the Rolls-Royce event caused more mayhem than anyone could have imagined. Those airlines using RR engines are going to find ways to stick the company with compensation charges – every engine is probably still under warranty. The Qantas engines are under a Rolls-Royce maintenance contract. But to pile on now, as Emirates is doing, means the problem is being brought home to Airbus. Almost certainly Mr Clark wants some sort of compensation too. Never loses an opportunity for a discount, does he? If he gets away with it – he has 90 orders after all – others will make the same call.
In other news:
- 787 news
- Air Zimbabwe auctions movables to pay staff
- Odd Chinese view on A380
- BA and Unite – is it going to be war?
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