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Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore Airlines Ltd. said it has temporary removed some Airbus A380s from operation while it checks for wing cracks and is using Boeing 777 planes instead.
Flights affected by the change will include SQ246 from Singapore to Zurich and SQ345 from Zurich to Singapore on January 24, 25, and 26. There is no change to scheduled departure and arrival times, the airline said in a statement on its website today.
The temporary removals come after a series of cracks were found on a part in the wings of Airbus double-decker A380s, leading the European Aviation Safety Agency to issue a directive requiring that 20 A380s, or almost one-third of the world A380 fleet, be inspected within six weeks. Singapore Airlines had six planes that required checking within four days.
“The safety of our customers and crew is our number one priority and we will ensure that we take whatever action is needed for the continued safe operation of our Airbus A380 fleet,” the airline said in the statement.
The carrier said it would waive administrator fees for rebooking or re-routing for travel on those flights.
The urgency of checks is linked to the number of cycles, or takeoffs and landings, performed by a given aircraft. Singapore was the first airline to operate A380s, followed closely by Emirates, which is the world’s largest operator of A380s.
EASA ordered the checks after the discovery of cracks in one wing led to detection of more serious fractures in other planes.
“This condition, if not detected and corrected, could potentially affect the structural integrity” of the plane, the safety organization said in the airworthiness directive on Jan. 21. “The new form of cracking is more significant.”
Dubai-based Emirates plans to comply fully with the directive and had examined two planes as of Friday, a spokeswoman said. The directive won’t affect schedules at the closely held carrier, she said, declining to specify how many of its A380s are impacted by the instructions.
--Editors: Thomas Mulier, Benedikt Kammel
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