Australian airline Qantas has said it is returning its grounded superjumbo fleet to the skies.
The airline’s chief executive Alan Joyce said the decision to put the six Airbus A380s back into service followed the completion of engine safety checks since a massive failure over Indonesia earlier this month.
Mr Joyce said Qantas was now “completely comfortable now with the operation of the aircraft” and the first resumed flight would be at the weekend.
The scare prompted a global safety review of Rolls-Royce engines on 20 of the world’s largest and newest jetliners across three airlines.
An investigation is still under way into the cause of the November 4 disintegration of the engine as the plane took off from Singapore. Officials have indicated a fire caused by leaking oil was the likely cause.
Mr Joyce said two of the superjumbos would be brought back into service as soon as they were ready and two more A380s – new ones straight off the production line – would begin taking passengers before Christmas.
It was the most serious safety scare for the world’s largest and newest jetliners, and prompted Qantas to ground its fleet.
Other airlines using the Trent 900 engine aboard A380s, Singapore Airlines and Germany’s Lufthansa, also briefly grounded some planes while safety checks were carried out.
Qantas’ four other A380s are still waiting for new engines or parts that would be switched out before they were returned to service.
Mr Joyce said Qantas had removed 16 engines from its A380 fleet to complete checks and fixes to satisfy its engineers the planes were safe to fly.