Skip to main content

Safety checks ordered for all Airbus A380 airplanes

From Per Nyberg, CNN
updated 9:40 PM EST, Wed February 8, 2012
The latest order is not because any new cracks have been found, but expands on earlier checks.
The latest order is not because any new cracks have been found, but expands on earlier checks.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The European air safety agency orders all A380s checked for cracks in the wings
  • The order does not ground the fleet
  • There are 68 A380s in operation around the world, the company says

London (CNN) -- All Airbus A380 airplanes must be checked for cracks in the wings, the European Aviation Safety Agency ordered Wednesday.

The order covering all A380s does not mean the planes must be grounded, said Dominique Fouda, a spokesman for the aviation agency. "They can fly, they just have to be checked within the time frame," he said.

Airbus A380 cracks prompt inspections
Airbus: A380s are safe, despite cracks

It expands an existing order that the 20 oldest A380s be checked for cracks, Fouda said, adding, "Now, with the second directive, we are including the whole fleet."

Planes that have completed more than 1,384 takeoffs and landings must be inspected within three weeks of February 13, the agency said.

Those that have completed 1,216 to 1,383 flight cycles have six weeks, and planes that have performed fewer than 1,216 cycles must be examined before they reach 1,300 cycles.

If cracks are found, the airline must contact Airbus for instructions, the agency said.

The 68 A380 planes in operation are being flown by Air France, China Southern, Emirates, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Qantas and Singapore Airlines, according to the company website. Another 185 planes have been ordered, Airbus says.

South Korea's Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said that it will issue an order to Korean Air on Thursday to conduct a safety check on its five A380 aircraft. There are no immediate safety issues, the ministry said.

None of the aircraft will need to be inspected before next spring. Any inspection carried out beforehand would not be beneficial in terms of determining safety of the aircraft, the ministry said.

Wednesday's order was not prompted by any new cracks, but is a normal follow-up to the original directive, which was issued three weeks ago, Fouda said. He called the directives an interim measure, saying a long-term fix is "now being worked on with Airbus."

That, he said, should be in place by the summer.

CNN's Ayesha Durgahee and Ric Ward contributed to this report

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT