Passengers departing an Emirates flight on Friday spotted a large hole carved into the side of the plane after it landed in Brisbane, Australia.
The Airbus A380 had been flying for nearly 14 hours from Emirates’ main hub, Dubai, with some passengers reporting the incident may have happened during or shortly after takeoff.
Although the ‘superjumbo’ has been grounded at Brisbane Airport since Friday, Emirates said in a statement that the incident had ‘no impact on the aircraft’s fuselage, chassis or structure’. .
The incident occurred on flight EK430 on July 1, with the Aviation Herald reporting that the pilots had contacted air traffic control at Brisbane Airport shortly before landing to report that they suspected they had punctured a tire on takeoff and asking to be met by the services landing emergency.
The plane landed safely and no passengers were reported injured or even evacuated.
A passenger on the flight, identified as Patrick, told Australia Mail Mail that he had heard a disturbing noise about 45 minutes after the start of the flight.
“There was a loud bang and I felt it through the floor as well,” he said.
“Cabin crew remained calm, stopped catering service and phoned and checked wings, engines.”
Another passenger, Chris, told the Mail Mail“Before landing, they told us we had to land on a different runway and have an engineer inspect the plane for a suspected landing gear problem.”
The Herald reported that the hole was made in the left wing root fairing, a part of the plane’s “skin” where the wing meets the cabin that is designed to reduce drag in flight.
An Emirates spokesperson said: “Our flight EK430 flying from Dubai to Brisbane on July 1 experienced a technical failure. One of the plane’s 22 tires ruptured during cruise, damaging a small portion of the aerodynamic fairing, which is an exterior panel or skin of the plane.
“At no time did it have any impact on the aircraft fuselage, chassis or structure. The aircraft landed safely in Brisbane and all passengers disembarked as planned.
“The fairing has been fully replaced, checked and cleared by engineers, Airbus and all relevant authorities. The safety of our passengers and crew has always been our top priority. »
The A380 is the largest passenger aircraft in the world, which has fallen somewhat out of favor in recent years. However, the model looks set to make a return to the skies.
Singapore Airlines and Qantas returned the jet to service, soon followed by Japanese carrier ANA and South Korean carrier Asiana Airlines.