Qantas Airways has confirmed that there are severe “type two” cracks on the wings of two Airbus A380 aircraft the airline has inspected to date. The airline is now discussing the cost of repairing the cracks with Airbus, and is seeking compensation from the plane maker.
Qantas Airways carried out the inspections following an order from European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European aircraft regulator, which instructed inspections on the entire worldwide fleet of A380 aircraft that have flown in excess of 1,300 times.
Qantas Airways has expressed its concern that ten of its other A380s, which are still to be inspected, many have similar serious cracks, and the cost of repairing will be very high.
According to Qantas spokesperson, the airline discovered cracks on the wing-rib feet on two aircraft, VH-OQB and VH-OQA, in February and March 2012, respectively. Qantas said, "We are in discussions with Airbus about the cost implications of the inspection and repair requirements."
Qantas said it will continue to comply with EASA airworthiness directive that orders inspections on A380s, and that the cracks do not pose any risks to the safety of the aircraft.
In February 2012, the airline took another A380 (VH-OQF) out of service after more than 30 cracks were discovered on the wing-rib feet.
On 8th March 2012, Airbus parent, EADS, announced that it has allocated €105 million ($138 million) to meet the cost of repairing the initial 67 A380s currently in service. EADS did not mention any provisions for paying compensation to affected airlines.
Emirates is also currently seeking compensation from Airbus for disruptions to operations after cracks were discovered on 10 of its A380s.