Airlines flying the Airbus A380 are being required to conduct enhanced inspections following findings of cracks inside the wings of the aircraft, the European Aviation Safety Agency announced Friday.
The announcement was made when an unscheduled internal inspection of an A380 wing by EASA found cracks originating from the rib to skin panel attachment holes, according to the agency's report. The Wall Street Journal reported the initial inspection took place following a Qantas Airways flight that suffered an engine blowout following takeoff from Singapore.
Additional cracks were found when the agency, a division of the European Union, conducted inspections of other A380s.
This condition, if not detected and corrected, could potentially affect the structural integrity of the aeroplane, the report said.
The inspection applies only to planes that have completed more than 1,300 flights. The inspection must be completed and reported to EASA by six weeks from Tuesday; however aircrafts with more than 1,800 flights will need to be inspected within four days.
EASA and Airbus are working closely together to ensure the continuing safe operations of the A380 aircraft type, the agency said in a statement.
EASA continues to review the situation closely, the statement continued. As a result of the on-going investigation, further mandatory actions may be considered.
Airbus, a subsidiary of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., has contracted with seven different airlines on the A380-- include Qantas, Korean Air Lines and Singapore Air Lines.
We are liasing closely with Airbus and will be carrying out precautionary inspections as required, Singapore Airlines spokesman Nicholas Iondies said in a statement. As Airbus has emphasized, the cracks do not affect the safe operation of the aircraft.