Holiday Travel on Hold for Qantas Airbus A380?

Australian Airline Grounds Airbus

Australia’s Qantas Airways has grounded all six of its Airbus A380 planes. These double-decker planes are the world’s largest passenger planes measuring as tall as an 8-story building. The problem? One of the Qantas planes blew out an engine Thursday. The Associated Press reports it was “shooting flames and raining large metal chunks before making a safe emergency landing in Singapore.”

None of the 459 people aboard were hurt. It took two hours to evacuate the 433 passengers and 26 crew members via “a step ladder.” The accident is now under investigation.

Qantas Airline Has Excellent Safety Record

Despite today’s news, Qantas is a very safe airline. It’s never had a fatal crash since its introduction of jet-powered aircraft in the late 1950’s. At least one aviation expert quoted by the AP doubts this new A380 incident would have been disastrous, “It’s not like the aircraft [was] going to drop out of the sky.” But it certainly appears Qantas is doing the prudent thing by grounding these planes while they investigate. How this may affect upcoming holiday travel between the United States and Australia is still a matter of speculation.

FAQ about A380s and Qantas

How many commercial airlines have A380s in their fleet? Currently, 37 of these jumbo planes are in service: Qantas = 6; Emirates = 13, Singapore Airlines = 11, Air France = 4; and Lufthansa = 3.

If you were on board the grounded Airbus or have travel plans affected by the recent grounding, please share your experience with us below.

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Published: November 4, 2010