Singapore Air Again Grounds A380 for Fuel Pump Fault

March 26, 2008

Singapore Airlines said on Wednesday that it had to ground an Airbus A380 on Monday and transfer passengers to two smaller Boeing 747s bound for Sydney, after a fuel pump failed to work.

This was the fourth incident in three months for the world’s largest passenger jet since it entered commercial service with Singapore Airlines in October, following two years of delivery delays caused by wiring glitches.

“The cause has been traced to the premature failure of a new fuel pump provided by Airbus,” Singapore Air spokesman Stephen Forshaw said in a emailed statement, adding the plane has since been repaired and returned to service on Tuesday.

Singapore Air is currently the world’s only airline to operate the A380, with three of the superjumbos operating daily flights from the city-state to Sydney and London. It has another 16 of the aircraft on order.

Airbus is competing with Boeing for new orders from Asian airlines.

An A380 rolled off the tarmac in Singapore after a fault with a tow truck in January, while another was grounded in February due to a fuel pump defect and a third aircraft was grounded in Sydney earlier this month due to problems with its brakes.

“The (latest) problem is similar to the problem which affected another aircraft a month or so back, but it is important to mention, it is not the same problem, and not the same aircraft,” said Forshaw, referring to the February incident.

Despite the series of mishaps, Singapore Airlines insisted that the A380’s reliability since entering service “has been generally excellent”.

(Reporting by Daryl Loo, editing by Neil Chatterjee)

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