The Qantas (QF) Airbus A380 that has been stranded in Singapore since the uncontained engine failure Nov. 4, 2010 will return to service in May (ATW Daily News, Nov. 5, 2010).

QF CEO Alan Joyce told ATW in Berlin last week that repair costs will be around AUD150 million ($156.9 million). “It is probably the biggest repair [that has been] done on an aircraft, as well asthe biggest insurance claim on an aircraft,” Joyce said.

In response to an ATW question, Joyce said the incident did not taint the image of the aircraft or QF. In fact, Joyce said QF reconfigured the Boeing 747 interior “with the same product we have on the A380s, because the reaction [on the A380 product] is still superb,” he said.

Joyce said the load factor on the A380 grew 3% and yield is 3% higher compared to a 747 flying on a different day. He said that QF has the lowest seat count of the A380 compared to every airline. “We have 450 seats; if we go to 485 seats, that gives us several tens of millions of dollars extra next year,” Joyce said.

Separately, a Singapore Airlines (SIA) A380 en route from Singapore to Frankfurt March 27, turned back to SIN after reportedly encountering an engine problem 3 hrs. into the flight (SQ26). According to Reuters, SIA said the crew reported “a surge in one of the A380's four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines and it would be inspected in consultation with the British engine maker.”

The A380 landed without incident and passengers were put on a replacement flight, an SIA spokeswoman told Reuters.