by Sally Peters June 23rd, 2011
Australian carrier Qantas has settled with enginemaker Rolls Royce following an emergency landing last year due to an alleged manufacturing defect.
One of the airline’s A380 super-jumbo jets was forced to return to Changi International Airport in Singapore late last year when one of its four Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines caught fire and subsequently failed. The incident, in which none of the nearly-500 people on board were harmed, was blamed on an oil-leakage problem attributed to Rolls Royce’s design and quality control efforts.
Following the ordeal, all of Qantas’ A380 models, as well as those operated by other carriers including Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines, were grounded for thorough checks, costing carriers dearly on some of their most lucrative routes.
Qantas said in a statement that the settlement, which was reached out of court, would provide an additional boost for its 2011 profits just ahead of the end of the financial year later this month. It is projected to bring the pre-tax total to AUD $500- 550 million, and the airline will discontinue legal action against the enginemaker.
The news will be welcomed with open arms by shareholders amid a difficult period for the airline, which has included industrial action, sky-high fuel prices and extensive schedule disruptions due to volcanic ash from Chile.