Doha: Emirates has replaced about nine faulty A380 engines after an incident in November forced one of its super jumbos to make an emergency landing in Sydney.
About nine of the Dubai carrier’s engines have been replaced since early November, when engine trouble onboard an Emirates A380 travelling from Sydney to Dubai forced the plane to turn back, Emirates President Tim Clark said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
Emirates power its A380s with engines made by a joint venture of General Electric Co. (GE) and United Technologies Corp’s (UTX) Pratt & Whitney unit.
“Most of the wing engines have been changed-the engines that needed to be dealt with are being fixed up,” Clark said.
Engines powering the world’s biggest passenger plane have experienced problems since the A380 entered service in 2007.
An A380 operated by Qantas Airways Ltd suffered a mid-air engine explosion in 2010 involving a turbine built by Rolls Royce Holdings Plc.
Clark said Emirates, the largest customer for the A380, said space constraints at Dubai airport is stopping the airline increasing its order book for the twin-deck super jumbo from 90 to 120 to replace its maturing fleet from 2019.
“We could do with another 20 or 30, but we can’t fit them in,” he said.
Gates one to four of Dubai’s new Concourse A opened last week.
The fast-growing government-owned carrier has factored in the cost over the next two financial years of grounding between four and five A380s from March 2013 to November 2014 to be repaired for wing cracks.
European safety regulators ordered inspections of all A380s in service last February after a series of tiny fractures were found in a wing component of some aircraft.
“From March 2013 to November 2014, all the aircraft that to be fixed will be fixed by Airbus,” Clark said. Traffic over Christmas was “strong” with between 85 per cent and 87 per cent seat factor-a key industry benchmark, he said.