Qantas hopes to have A380s flying again within days

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Image caption,
Qantas jets have been hit by two separate engine problems in as many days

The Australian airline Qantas has said it hopes to have its grounded fleet of A380s flying again within days.

Urgent checks are being carried out following an engine failure and CEO Alan Joyce said he was optimistic the plane would pass the tests.

Mr Joyce was speaking at the 90th anniversary celebrations for the airline which have been overshadowed by two separate engine problems.

It was the first incident on an Airbus A380 since it came into service.

The airline grounded its fleet of six A380s after an engine exploded on a flight to Australia on Thursday. The plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Singapore. The incident forced all A380 operators to check their planes.

Then a day later, in what the airline said was an unrelated incident, a Qantas Boeing 747 was forced to turn back to Singapore after what Mr Joyce called a "contained engine failure".

He said he was confident of the safety of the 747s, adding: "We are not concerned about our 747 fleet... these engines have a very long life. It's... not a safety issue."

There are no plans to ground the airline's fleet of 747s.

On Friday, Qantas said the engine failure on its flagship A380 might have been caused by a design fault or "material failure".

Mr Joyce said it was "an engine issue" and not one of maintenance on the two-year-old plane.

Rolls-Royce, the British firm which makes the engines for the Qantas planes, saw its share price fall by nearly 5% on Friday.

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