Qantas to resume flying Airbus A380 superjumbos

Engine of Qantas A380 after emergency landing in Singapore, 4 November 2010
Image caption Qantas will initially only fly the Airbus A380 between London and Sydney

Qantas says it is to resume flying some of its A380 superjumbos on Saturday, three weeks after an engine explosion forced one of the airline's A380 planes to make an emergency landing.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said he was satisfied the aircraft were safe to fly, following extensive checks.

Two superjumbos will initially fly the Sydney to London route, he added.

The pilots of a Qantas A380 made a successful emergency landing in Singapore on 4 November.

After the incident, the Australian airline grounded all six of its A380s.

Qantas was now working with Airbus and British engine-maker Rolls-Royce to get all six superjumbos back in the air, Mr Joyce said.

"We're completely comfortable with the operation of the aircraft," he said.

Rolls-Royce has said the engine failure on 4 November "was confined to a specific component" which led to an oil fire and loss of turbine pressure.

Flying debris from the engine then severed cables in the aircraft's wing, the plane's manufacturer Airbus said.

The A380 is the flagship of the European aviation giant's fleet.

The result of a long and costly research programme, it made its first commercial flight in 2007.

It is the world's largest passenger airliner, a double-decker which can carry up to 800 people - though Qantas A380s are set up to carry about 450.

All 459 passengers and crew on the plane that made the emergency landing three weeks ago were unharmed.

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