Lufthansa gets new A380 as safety concerns persist

German flag carrier Lufthansa will receive a new Airbus A380 on Tuesday, just one day after a concern with one of the super jumbo jets forced the airline to unload some 400 passengers headed from Frankfurt to Tokyo.

Lufthansa gets new A380 as safety concerns persist
Photo: DPA

The double-decker aircraft, the largest passenger plane in the world, are the subject of increasing concern after one of the jets owned by Qantas developed major engine trouble earlier this month.

The close-call was followed by the discovery of oil leaks in several faulty A380 engines produced by Rolls Royce, which has returned some engines to production lines to replace problem parts on already finished planes.

On Monday, a Lufthansa captain decided that his A380 should undergo further safety checks after the plane was already awaiting take-off on the runway, the airline said.

While technicians found no issues with the landing gear, the plane was replaced with another before the flight proceeded.

Head of Berlin’s Martin Gropius Bau exhibition hall, Gereon Sievernich, was on board the A380 and said he could hear strange noises coming from the landing gear, calling the pilot’s choice to turn back the “right decision.”

Lufthansa said Monday that it planned to continue its three A380 flights between Frankfurt and the three long-haul destinations of Tokyo, Beijing and Johannesburg.

Meanwhile the airline is set to take delivery of its next A380 on Tuesday in Frankfurt, spokesperson Thomas Jachnow said. It will carry its first passengers on November 19.

The company remains in contact with Rolls Royce over whether engine parts will need to be replaced, Jachnow added. The Trent 970 model engines in Lufthansa’s A380s are much newer than the Trent 972 models in the Qantas planes, he said.


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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.