Stranded Qantas passengers to return

Passengers on board a Sydney-bound Qantas flight that was forced to turn back after one of its engines exploded, will return to Sydney late on Friday.


The super-jumbo, bound for Sydney from Singapore on Thursday, was forced to turn back after one of its four engines “shut down” over the Indonesian island of Batam.

The airline has suspended all of its A380 flights around the world as the carrier investigates the cause of an explosion.

Qantas on Friday said a special relief flight was dispatched from Sydney on Thursday night to bring back the affected passengers, who were put up in Singapore overnight.

It was due to leave Singapore at 10.30am local time (1.30pm AEDT).

Arrangements also were being made to get passengers who were stuck in Los Angeles on flights to Australia, the statement issued on Friday morning said.

Investigations had continued overnight into the incident, Qantas said.

“Qantas has liaised closely with Rolls-Royce and Airbus overnight in an effort to understand the cause of the incident,” it said.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce on Thursday said the airline’s investigation into the incident “will take as long as we need to take until we are comfortable”.

“It looks like it’s an uncontained engine failure, but it’s too early to speculate and will involve us doing a detailed investigation with the manufacturer Airbus and the manufacturer of the engine, Rolls Royce,” he added.

Flights between Los Angeles, Sydney and Melbourne have been delayed for 24 hours.

Friday’s QF93 Melbourne-Los Angeles service, QF12 and QF108 Los Angeles to Sydney services, and QF94 Los Angeles-Melbourne service were all affected by the delay.

The QF10 London to Singapore service would be operated by an aircraft chartered from British Airways.

A decision would be made later on Friday regarding the onward flight to Melbourne.

Customers had been contacted regarding the flight changes, the airline said.

Meanwhile, the President of the Pilot’s Association and Qantas pilot Barry Jackson said he would be happy to fly an A380 plane once the investigation was concluded.

“I’m quite confident that this is a one-off, that once the preliminary reasons for this incident have come out and the engineers are quite happy for us to get going, then I’m quite happy to accept their word and get back in the saddle,” Mr Jackson told ABC radio on Friday morning.

Qantas was working with the Australian regulators, which also were investigating the incident, as well as the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).