Engine troubles delay Airbus superjumbo tour

Saturday, November 5, 2005

The A380's first landing on April 27, 2005

The departure from France of the new Airbus A380 superjumbo airliner on a tour of Asia and Australia has been delayed, leading to a rearrangement of its public appearances. Citing "a precautionary measure", Airbus announced that two of the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines on the prototype airliner would be replaced before the tour commenced.

Singapore will remain the airliner's first stop, where Singapore Airlines will display the aircraft they intend to launch into passenger-carrying service in November 2006. It is expected that the Airbus 380 will wear the livery of Singapore Airlines when it arrives on November 11, three days later than originally planned.

The massive airliner will then bypass the planned stop in Malaysia, and fly directly to Sydney, then Melbourne and Brisbane as part of the leadup to Qantas' 85th birthday celebrations on November 16. Qantas plans to commence A380 operations starting in April 2007.

The Malaysia visit will be rescheduled for November 17, occurring during the return flight to France.

It is unclear whether the originally planned Australian tour dates can be kept, and sources indicate that the airliner's first stop in Brisbane, on November 11, maybe eliminated in favour of a brief appearance on November 16.