By RAPHAEL G. SATTER, Associated Press
LONDON (AP) _ Rolls-Royce said Monday that it has made progress in finding the cause of the engine failings which have grounded Qantas’ fleet of A380s, the world’s newest and largest airliner.
But it stopped short of saying that its engineers had figured out what went wrong when an engine burst minutes into a flight from Singapore to Sydney last week.
Rolls-Royce’s stock rose more than 2 percent to 603.5 pence ($9.74) on the London Stock Exchange after the news.
Still, the company’s share price remains about 8 percent lower than it was before the incident raised questions about the reliability of the Trent 900 engines which the company has built for the A380s.
Qantas said earlier Monday that tests have uncovered oil leaks in three engines on Qantas’ grounded Airbus A380s. Because of that, the company said, all the airline’s A380s will be grounded for at least an additional 72 hours.
Rolls-Royce Group PLC said that its engines were being inspected in coordination with Airbus, jet companies and air authorities. The statement said that the tests were “being progressively completed” but it wasn’t clear who was carrying out the inspections or exactly how long they would take.
The company confirmed that the incident was linked to its Trent 900 engines, as reported, but provided no further detail.
In a statement, it also noted that the engine problems had no connection to a separate incident earlier this year with the Trent 1000 engine on a test bed in England _ which occurred in extreme conditions during a development program. The company did not elaborate on that earlier problem either.
Calls seeking further clarification from the British company were not immediately returned.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)