Airbus ordered to inspect all A380 jets for wing cracks

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has ordered all 67 Airbus A380 superjumbo planes currently in operation to be checked for wing cracks after tiny fractures were discovered during a maintenance inspection.

The EASA last month ordered immediate checks of 20 heavily used A380's after cracks were found in the wings of Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Air France planes. Last night Quantas said it had been forced to suspend its Airbus A380 after 36 hairline cracks, each measuring 2cm long, were found in the wing rib feet. A Qantas spokesperson said the cracking was not related to turbulence, but to a manufacturing issue. The aircraft is expected to be in service again in the next week. Airbus maintained that the cracks do not pose an immediate threat to safety and said repairs would be carried out if any damage was found.