SYDNEY, Australia — Qantas said the engine blowout on its Airbus superjumbo taking off from Singapore was likely caused by material failure or faulty design, as passengers from the stricken plane left Friday for Australia on a relief flight.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said it was too early to say exactly what caused one of the A380's four Rolls-Royce engines to fail shortly after take-off Thursday and that a thorough investigation was under way. But he said maintenance — for which the airline has responsibility — did not appear to be a significant factor.
The airline's fleet of six A380s remained grounded.
"This is an engine issue and the engines have been maintained by Rolls-Royce since they were installed on the aircraft," Joyce told a news conference in Sydney. "We believe this is probably most likely a material failure or some type of design issue. We don't believe this is related to maintenance in any way."