Second Qantas jet is forced to make emergency landing
A Qantas Airways jumbo jet was forced to make an emergency landing in Singapore yesterday less than 48 hours after another of the Australian carrier's planes experienced engine failure.
The Sydney-bound Boeing 747-400 aircraft, with 412 people on board, returned to the airport 20 minutes after take-off in a move described as "a precautionary matter".
"It was a very big shock to us," said Ranjan Sivagnanasundaram, who was on yesterday's flight.
The turnabout came a day after a Qantas Airbus A380 jet was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its four Rolls-Royce engines appeared to break apart in flight, scattering debris over an Indonesian island.
It is believed the Boeing aircraft was also equipped with Rolls-Royce engines.
The earlier incident forced Qantas to ground its fleet of six A380s pending safety checks, and led other airlines to check their own A380s.
"We believe this is pro failure or some sort of design issue," Irish-born Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce told a news conference in Sydney.
The incidents could provide Rolls' rivals GE and the Pratt & Whitney unit of United Technologies Corp with a chance to grab market share from the second leading engine-maker.
"There is no question that you have a series of events that really put Rolls-Royce's reputation at risk," said Richard Aboulafia, vice-president at aviation consultancy Teal Group.
GE is the world's largest maker of jet engines, Pratt comes in third.