Qantas superjumbo returns to skies


Engines have been replaced on some Airbus A380s

A Qantas A380 superjumbo is returning the sky and head for London for the first time since the airline’s fleet was grounded after a mid-air engine explosion.

The Australian airline said the flight carrying about 350 passengers was taking off from Sydney at 6.30am GMT on Saturday, bound for Singapore, then London, with Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce expected to be aboard for the first leg.

Mr Joyce’s presence was a gesture meant to reassure customers about the plane’s safety.

Qantas grounded its six Airbus A380s after a Rolls-Royce engine on one of them disintegrated after take-off from Singapore on November 4.

That prompted a global safety review of the Trent 900 engine used on 20 A380s across three airlines.

Qantas has replaced at least 14 engines on its fleet, and so far is returning only two of its A380s to service.

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