March 2, 2009

Leak delays Qantas flight 12 hours

Passengers on a Qantas flight from England to Australia waited 12 hours for a fuel leak to be repaired, then had to switch planes anyway, officials said Monday.

Qantas was forced to declare the Airbus A380 unserviceable Monday night because the fuel line could not be repaired at that time, The Age reported Tuesday. The passengers were transferred to a Boeing 747 for the flight from London to Melbourne.

It was the second incident involving the A380 for Qantas in five weeks, with another plane grounded Jan. 19 in Los Angeles, The Age said.

A Qantas spokeswoman said occasional problems are not unusual with a new aircraft.

Our engineers are currently working to resolve the issue and we hope to have the aircraft return to service very soon, the spokeswoman said.

We are working very closely with Airbus, but we remain committed to the A380, as the cornerstone of our new generation. We apologize to our customers.