x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Qantas sends expert to check superjumbo

Sydney-London flight diverted to Dubai after engine problem.

DUBAI //Qantas Airways has sent an engineer to Dubai to inspect an A380 superjumbo that was diverted after one of its engines was shut down.

The Sydney-London flight carrying 258 passengers and 25 crew landed safely in Dubai early yesterday. The crew had noticed a problem with the amount of oil in one of the plane's four engines.

Passengers who were unable to rebook flights to London yesterday are expected to be able to depart today.

"The vast majority of passengers have been rebooked on to other carriers and a small number will be overnighting in Dubai before travelling to London," said Qantas, the Australian national carrier.

Among those on board was the British actor and comedian Stephen Fry, who shared regular updates about the surprise landing with his 3.3 million followers on Twitter.

"Forced to land in Dubai. An engine has decided not to play," Fry wrote.

Eight hours later, he tweeted: "There is a faint chance that in 4.5 hours time I might get to Munich and then have a scramble to connect for home. Luggage? Ha!"

Another Qantas A380 departing from Singapore suffered an engine problem exactly a year ago yesterday, when oil leaked from a faulty engine pipe and caught fire. A turbine disc was destroyed and pieces of it entered the plane's wing, cutting off systems and almost hitting the cabin.

The airline said last year's incident had no connection to the one yesterday.

Qantas has also been involved in a labour dispute in the past few weeks. It grounded its entire fleet last weekend to put pressure on striking trade unions.

The action left up to 70,000 passengers stranded.

The airline resumed flights on Tuesday after the Australian labour tribunal ordered a halt to all action by the company and unions.

chuang@thenational.ae