Some of the 380 passengers on board Flight EK413 reported flames trailing from the engine.
It was just 20 minutes into its flight from Sydney’s Kingsford-Smith Airport and climbing at 10,000 feet when the problem occurred in one of its four engines.
Passengers on the giant double-deck aircraft, made by the Airbus parent Eads, said they felt a shudder and then saw flames shooting several metres out of one of the engines.
“I saw a flash. I thought it could have been lightning, but then we saw flames come out of the engine. The whole interior of the A380 lit up,” passenger John Fothergill, 49, from New Zealand told Australia’s Daily Telegraph.
Emirates later said there was no fire, although “passengers may have seen a flash”.
The carrier apologised for the inconvenience to its passengers and said their safety was “of the highest priority and will not be compromised”. It said it was still investigating the cause of the fault.
Emirates operates a daily 14-hour flight to and from Sydney on the A380 superjumbo.
As of September this year, only nine airlines in the world were operating A380s, including Emirates, Air France, Qantas, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines. There are 84 in operation.
This is the second engine-related incident involving an A380. Two years ago, on November 4, a Qantas A380 flight made an emergency landing in Singapore after one of its engines failed.
Qantas A380s are powered by Rolls-Royce engines. Emirates uses those from Engine Alliance.
* With additional reporting from Reuters