Qantas, Singapore Air Ground A380 Aircraft

Qantas, Singapore Air Ground A380 Aircraft

Qantas Airways and Singapore Airlines are grounding their superjumbo A380 aircraft after part of an engine on a Qantas flight appeared to tear apart in flight.

The Qantas plane made an emergency landing in Singapore after the incident, which came shortly after flight QF32 took off from Singapore Changi Airport on its way to Sydney, Australia. The 459 passengers and crew were evacuated, and no injuries were reported.

But the incident was a blow to the Airbus program, which has placed 37 of the double-decker A380s with airlines around the world and has orders for 200 of the aircraft.

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Qantas and Singapore Airlines announced they were suspending A380 operations pending an investigation of the incident and tests of the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines used on the planes.

Lufthansa, Emirates and Air France said they would continue to operate their A380s as scheduled, however.

News reports in the region said passengers reported hearing a loud noise from the engine and that part of the housing for the engine peeled away and fell on an island in Indonesia.

Introduced in 2005, the four-engine A380 is the world’s largest passenger jet, and Airbus touts the plane as a significant advancement in aviation technology that provides highly efficient operating characteristics. FedEx was a launch customer of the plane with a large order for freighter editions, but the express carrier and other airlines later canceled their orders for all-cargo versions.