13 Feb 2012

Qantas downplays Airbus problem

4:00 pm on 13 February 2012

Qantas has played down a steering issue that forced the crew of an Airbus A380 to twice abandon its departure, before it finally took off from London's Heathrow Airport for Singapore.

The airline says the problem was unrelated to wing cracks that have led Europe's air safety officials to order global checks on the French-made superjumbo.

Qantas says the plane was travelling at a very slow speed when the decision was made to stop it on Saturday.

The five-hour delay for repairs meant Heathrow had to lift a curfew banning night flights at the airport, which has tough noise restrictions.