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Singapore Airlines' A380 grounded due to fuel pump problem

Singapore Airlines' A380 grounded due to fuel pump problem

Singapore Airlines said Tuesday an A380 superjumbo flight was canceled due to a fuel pump defect, the first technical glitch to ground the world's largest passenger jet.
The carrier said the fuel pump problem was detected when the plane's engine was started ahead of departure Monday night on a flight from Singapore to Sydney.
"Airbus and our own engineers have dedicated teams to try to address these issues quickly, but last night's fuel pump defect took much longer to fix," Singapore Airlines said in an e-mailed statement to The Associated Press.
The airline said it had to switch to using a Boeing 747-400, which seats fewer people than the Airbus jet, because a replacement of the fuel pump failed to solve the problem. The company's second A380 could not be used as it was undergoing maintenance.
Of the 418 passengers on the flight, about 70 had to be transferred to alternative flights Tuesday, the carrier said.
"The delay was most unfortunate, because to date, the aircraft has been operating with very high reliability: the highest of any aircraft type to enter service," the statement said. "It is, of course, to be expected that technical issues will occur from time to time."
Singapore Airlines said the problem has since been fixed and the plane would resume its daily service to Sydney on Tuesday night.
Airbus spokesman Stefan Schaffrath in Toulouse, France, said he was not aware of problems with fuel pumps in any other A380s currently in production. He referred questions on Monday's incident to Singapore Airlines.
"The A380 shows an excellent operational performance. It operates twice daily since the end of October and shows dispatch reliability of more than 99.5 percent," he said. "Like with a normal car, things can happen, things need to be repaired."