Airbus 'screwed up' on A380 wings - CEO

2012-02-13 12:02

Singapore - Airbus Chief Executive Thomas Enders vowed on Monday that the company will quickly fix tiny cracks detected on the wings of its flagship A380 super jumbo, admitting "we screwed that up".

Enders said he hoped that the wing problem as well as troubles on some of the A380's Rolls Royce engines which had been detected earlier will not affect the European aircraft maker's credibility.

Enders was asked about the impact of the wing and engine problems on Airbus' future and reputation on the eve of the Singapore Airshow.

He said the engine problems had been fixed by engine supplier Rolls Royce, and vowed Airbus will deal with the wing fissures.

"Very clearly, in the same way, we will fix the wing problems as quickly as possible. This is unfortunate," he said.

All grounded

"This is us, we screwed that up. We will fix it as quickly as possible and whatever it costs, that is something too early to say at this point."

The European Aviation Safety Agency has ordered that all Airbus A380 aircraft be checked for wing cracks, although the aircraft maker insisted they did not pose any danger to flight safety.

Problems with Rolls Royce engines in A380s - the world's biggest passenger aircraft - came to light after one used by Qantas made an emergency landing in Singapore in November 2010 because of a mid-air engine explosion.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said in a report that the blast on the Qantas aircraft could have been caused by a possible manufacturing issue related to oil pipes in the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine.

  • MissGremlinSays - 2012-02-13 12:29

    Hmm. Still not definative answer on whether the cracks are superficial or structural. Those sneaky composite materials - you just never know how the buggers are going to react till you stress them...

      Celtis - 2012-02-13 12:57

      Sure they can solve it with a bit of Polyfilla Fine Crack Filler

      Garth - 2012-02-13 13:34

      @stinkhout - the politicians or the A380?

      Citizen - 2012-02-14 11:28

      Brings a new meaning to 'on a wing and a prayer'..

  • Gerhard - 2012-02-13 12:34

    How come a few weeks ago they were saying there was nothing to worry about? Good thing they are going to fix this before the wings start falling off of these planes.

      harley1 - 2012-02-13 19:19

      you are stupid !!!!

      Ja - 2012-02-14 10:17

      Harley 1 .. you are the retard .. Airbus said that a few weeks ago .. there is nothing to worry about .. and now they say they screwed up .. just because you ride one of the crapest bikes in the world does not mean the rest of us must fly in sub-standard planes ..

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-13 13:00

    It's impressive that the CEO of Airbus, with bunches to lose had the balls and shouldered the blame and faced the music, I just wish Zuma and his crew could take a leaf out Airbus' book, we would not have service delivery problems either! Shew managed to get a political angle on this hahahahaha

      Heiku - 2012-02-13 17:19

      Good thing you managed that too. I was about to call the n24 police.

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-13 18:16

      @Heiku, took me looooooong to get that one sorted LOL

  • Peter - 2012-02-13 13:59

    A)2 ways to fix any problem.Duct tape and a hammer. If it moves and shouldn't......Duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should......Hammer. B)The bigger the problem the bigger the hammer. C)If a hammer can't solve the problem, then it must be electrical.

      Grant - 2012-02-13 14:54

      A tip I learnt from Juju : if you're not sure whether to use a nail or a screw, use a nail. If the wood splits then you know you should have used a screw.

  • Samantha - 2012-02-13 14:00

    HAHA! "Screwed it up"? How much will that screw up cost? And how many lives did Airbus put in danger? And to say "we will quickly fix the problem" just raises red flags.

      Glyn - 2012-02-13 15:47

      Airbus know what they are doing when they say it poses no danger. They will fix it chop chop!

  • RubenJacobs - 2012-02-13 14:11

    Its only gonna take one plane's wing to come off to ground all of the A380's!

      Glyn - 2012-02-13 15:47

      Don't worry!! Airplanes only crash once!

      comurray - 2012-02-14 09:18

      And kill 600 passengers too.

      AyGeewils - 2012-02-14 10:08

      if they all come off? - that'll ground a few ....

  • Mouldy - 2012-02-13 14:13

    Cannot wait for my next trip to Europe on the A380, awesome aircraft. It's anyway 1000 times safer than those delapidated buckets of bolts being operated by our domestic cheap skate airlines in SA.

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-13 15:40

      Yep agreed, provided both wings are complete and are attached to the fuselage, otherwise not so safe

  • i.R.womble - 2012-02-13 14:18

    At a cost of over $300 million for 1, how do you screw up?????

      camp.j - 2012-02-13 15:42

      clockwise with a philips screwdriver

      AyGeewils - 2012-02-14 10:10

      up and down with a Yanky ...

  • rurapenthe - 2012-02-13 14:20

    The standards in air safety are VERY high. Even if there is a remote minor little tiny chance these cracks would be a problem - they STILL have to fix them urgently. Since no human is perfect nothing they build will ever be perfect. At least they are identifying the problem and fixing it, and built the plane well enough so none have fallen out of the sky yet.

  • Glyn - 2012-02-13 15:42

    When Airbus (or Boeing) mess it up they fix it, the anc just blame someone else.

      Thando - 2012-02-13 16:09

      what has the ANC to do with this ?

      harley1 - 2012-02-13 19:20

      another does !!

  • Andre - 2012-02-13 16:23

    Simple remedy. Drill a row of holes along the entire width of the wing at the weakest point. Toilet paper never tears at the perforation (holes)!

  • Takunda - 2012-02-14 05:39

    @alfred what has aparthied go to do with the airbus a380 wing fissures really? be sensible and make a point that fits the story line! @ james my goodness r u really that stupid? jus vomiting words on here without using yo brains is what u do best! yo comment jus says it all! this world, is not about race as much as it is about religion and if u r the top 1% and now that top 1 % is comprised of pple of all races. money knows no skin color these days, and if that didnt clue into that mind of yours then u r more stupid than anyone in this world!

  • Zion - 2012-02-14 06:25

    The damage has been done and this aircraft has lost its credibility.

  • mikealetta - 2012-02-14 09:16

    I am totally amazed that there are some idiots on this forum who can take something like a report on wing cracks on the Airbus and still spew racial insults out, nothing better to do???

  • Frank - 2012-02-14 09:41

    Just screw the wings back on.

  • Alan - 2012-02-14 09:42

    What about rudder problems on the other Airbuses?

  • jjlambrechts - 2012-02-14 09:43

    Duck-tape to fix wings. Q20 for the RR.

  • Frank - 2012-02-14 09:55

    Its not the engine thats the problem its the wing it hangs on.

  • Dale - 2012-02-14 11:09

    one word for you airbus.....BOEING!!

  • Alan - 2012-02-14 11:23

    Take away the engines and the wings and it's a good plane.

  • jo.c.lombard - 2012-02-14 13:54

    Heavy days!!

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