Airbus A380 wing checks extended to entire fleet

February 8, 2012 18:33

KUALA LUMPUR/PARIS - European air safety officials extended checks for Airbus A380 wing cracks to the entire super-jumbo fleet on Wednesday and said the widespread defects could pose a safety risk if left unremedied.

The move to inspect all 68 A380s in service came as Qantas Airways grounded one of its planes for up to a week following the discovery of 36 separate cracks in wing parts.

The new measures by the European Air Safety Agency (EASA) "reflect the results of a first round of checks, which found cracks in almost all of the planes inspected," spokesman Dominique Fouda said.

"This condition, if not detected and corrected, may lead to a reduction of the structural integrity of the airplane," the EU agency said in its directive to airlines.

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