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Flight is scratched as SIA A380 grounded for inspection

February 10, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59If a horse is scratched before a horserace it is not going to run. Something similar happened with Singapore Airlines last week, but with a difference.

The airline grounded one of its Airbus A380s for inspection after finding scratches on fuselage when the plane arrived in Frankfurt from New York with 126 passengers and 26 crew aboard.

In Frankfurt, “the aircraft was subsequently grounded for checks and passengers were either transferred to other airlines or accommodated in hotels,” a SIA statement said. Effectively, the flight was scratched, rather like the plane.

The plane was checked, found to be airworthy and flown to Singapore to be grounded again for further checking.

The extent of the scratches was not described and SIA said the cause had not been determined.

The airline is understandably sensitive about its A380s. Last month, one of SIA’s giant double-deck aircraft had to make an emergency landing in Azerbaijan after cabin pressure failed.

Mystery surrounds that incident, which struck a flight from London to Singapore. The plane landed safely without any injuries to the 467 passengers and 27 crewmembers aboard, but photos of oxygen masks dangling from the ceiling were splashed around the world – not a great advertisement for air travel, though it did show the masks all seem to work as designed.

Singapore Airlines later issued a statement on Facebook: “We sincerely apologise to affected customers for the inconvenience caused by the diversion and the lengthy delay encountered at the airport in Baku.”

The plane involved in the Baku incident is back in service but the airline said last week the “root cause” of the incident remains under investigation.

Singapore Airlines operates 19 A380s and has five more on order. There are currently 119 A380s in operation worldwide.

Written by Peter Needham

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