Passengers disembarking from an Emirates flight on Friday discovered a large hole in the plane’s side after it landed in Brisbane, Australia.
The Airbus A380 had flown from Emirates’ main hub Dubai for almost 14 hours, with some passengers reporting the incident may have happened during or shortly after take-off.
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, frame or structure”.
The incident occurred on July 1 on flight EK430 Aviation Herald They reported that pilots had contacted air traffic control at Brisbane Airport just before landing to report that they suspected they had a punctured tire on takeoff and asked to be met by emergency services upon landing.
The plane landed safely and no passengers were reported injured or even evacuated.
A passenger on the flight, identified as Patrick, said Australia courier post that he had heard a disturbing noise about 45 minutes into the flight.
“There was a loud bang and I felt it through the floor too,” he said.
“The cabin crew stayed calm, stopped the meal service and went on the phone and checked the wings and engines.”
Another passenger, Chris, related this courier post: “Before we landed, they told us we needed to land on a different runway and ask an engineer to inspect the plane for a suspected landing gear problem.”
That herald reported that the hole was made in the left wing’s root fairing, a part of the plane’s “skin” where the wing meets the cabin, which is shaped to reduce drag during flight.
An Emirates spokesman said: “Our flight EK430, which flew from Dubai to Brisbane on July 1, experienced a technical failure. One of the plane’s 22 tires ruptured in flight, damaging a small portion of the aerodynamic fairing, which is an outer fairing or skin of the plane.
“At no point did it affect the fuselage, frame or structure of the aircraft. The plane landed safely in Brisbane and all passengers disembarked as scheduled.
“The fairing has been completely replaced, checked and approved by engineers, Airbus and all relevant authorities. The safety of our passengers and crew has always been our top priority.”
The A380 is the world’s largest passenger airliner, which has fallen somewhat out of favor in recent years. However, the model seems to return to the sky.
Singapore Airlines and Qantas have restarted the jet, soon to be followed by Japanese carrier ANA and South Korean Asiana Airlines.