Singapore Airlines is to replace Rolls-Royce engines on three of its Airbus A380s after finding oil stains nearly a week after Australia's Qantas grounded its superjumbo fleet because of an engine failure.
Lufthansa, whose A380s are powered by the same Trent 900 turbines, has also replaced one engine. Both airlines stressed that the moves were precautionary and unconnected to the Qantas engine fault.
Last week, the Australian carrier grounded its fleet when one of its A380s, loaded with 433 passengers and 26 crew, was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its engines exploded. There were no injuries, but the incident prompted safety concerns. Singapore Airlines said the stains were different from the leak in the Qantas engines.
"Rolls-Royce had recommended further detailed inspections of three engines (one on each aircraft) as a result of oil staining. This is to ensure that the cause of the oil staining can be determined," said a spokesman for Singapore Airlines.
Earlier in the week, Rolls-Royce said it had made progress in understanding the cause of the Qantas engine failure. "It is now clear this incident is specific to the Trent 900 engine," the engineering group explained.
It added that, as a result, checks and inspections had been agreed with Airbus, operators of the Trent 900-powered A380s and air authorities. The company will provide a further update on the matter tomorrow.