April 21 - Australian airliner Qantas prepares to send an A380 airbus back into the skies after an engine failure incident grounded the plane in Singapore in 2010. Julie Noce reports.
18 months and more than 140 million dollars later, the Qantas A380 that has been grounded in Singapore with a broken engine, is finally set for take off. Qantas flight 32 had been sitting in Singapore since November of 2010 when one of its Rolls Royce engines blew up over Indonesia and forced it to land. The incident prompted Qantas to ground its entire A380 fleet for more than three weeks. Since then, the airliner has suffered a series of hurdles including wage wars with trade unions upset over the airline's decision to base more of its operations offshore. And the rising cost of jet fuel-- the highest in nearly three years-- has forced the airline to increase domestic and international fares twice in the past two months. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said industry wide setbacks like these and others have taken their toll on the sector. (SOUNDBITE) (English) QANTAS CEO, ALAN JOYCE, SAYING: "I think like all airlines around the world, the last year has not been a good year. There's a lot of incidents that have occurred that have affected everybody, the volcanic ash, the earthquakes in New Zealand, the tsunami in Japan has made it a very tough year for a lot of airlines around the world. One of the great things about Qantas is that it's remained profitable during this period of time." Joyce will join the same set of crew who were on the original flight 32 when it departs for Sydney on Saturday night. Julie Noce, Reuters