Qantas Blasts Rolls Royce Over New Engine Rules in Multi-Million-Dollar Claim


In a multimillion-dollar damages claim against Rolls Royce, Australian airline Qantas has alleged that it would only be able to carry 80 passengers across the Pacific in its Airbus 380s under new operating rules for their troubled engines, the Herald Sun reports in its Saturday edition.

The airline states in Australian federal court papers that it bought the Airbus superjumbos because they would carry 450 passengers and a payload of 60,900 kg (130,000 lbs) from Australia to Los Angeles.

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But the new rules imposed by Rolls Royce since one of its Trent 900 engines exploded on a Qantas A380 near Singapore last month, mean that the world's biggest passenger jet could no longer be used for the airline's Australia-US commercial route.

Qantas, which has suspended the route, has asked for damages and costs. Rolls Royce is accused of negligence and breach of contract.

The carrier is also seeking a declaration from the court ordering the UK engine maker to fund a $1 million credit note relating to a guarantee against "uncontained engine failure" to stop engine parts perforating the outer shield of an engine.

Details of the case emerged a day after Australia's top air safety investigator on Thursday lauded pilots who landed the faulty Qantas Airbus in Singapore, saying they saved the lives of all the 469 people on board QF32 on November 4.

A preliminary report released this week confirmed an oil leak as the most likely cause of last month's Qantas A380 engine failure over Indonesia's Batam Island. The leak caused pieces of the Rolls Royce engine to shear off, penetrating the aircraft's left wing and sections of the fuselage.

Captain Richard Champion de Crespigny and the four other officers safely landed the aircraft under the power of its remaining engines. Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) chief commissioner Martin Dolan said the cool-headed reaction of the pilots prevented a catastrophic accident.

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