Etihad “concerned” about A380 cracking

By Michael Garko, In Airline News

With its first Airbus A380 superjumbo due in 2014, Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi’s flagship carrier, is seeking answers from Airbus about cracking in the fleet’s wings.

Courtesy Airbus

“Obviously we are very concerned about this defect. They have given us assurances that they’ve been rectified … we need them to be qualified,” said Etihad CEO James Hogan to reporters at the airline’s Abu Dhabi headquarters.

In February, European air safety officials ordered checks after cracks began to appear on the wings across the fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft.

Airbus has since stated that the cracks in the wing structure have been traced to unexpected additional stresses.  The world’s largest plane manufacturer is reportedly in the process of changing its manufacturing process for the wing, and has developed a fix for the issue.

In a Reuters report, Etihad rival, Emirates, is seeking compensation from Airbus.

Larger rival Emirates, the world’s largest operator of the A380, said in March it planned to seek compensation from Airbus after complaining of widespread disruption and an expected loss of revenue.

Etihad placed its order for 10 Airbus A380 superjumbos in July 2008, including an option for five additional aircraft.

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