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 Low fuel prompts Qantas superjumbo to divert

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PostSubject: Low fuel prompts Qantas superjumbo to divert   Wed May 18, 2011 6:47 am

SYDNEY - A Qantas flight from Singapore had to be diverted to Adelaide on Tuesday after the crew discovered the Airbus A380 was running low on fuel, the Australian airline said.

The Melbourne-bound plane, carrying 249 passengers, is thought to have used up more fuel than anticipated by following a different route to avoid poor weather.

"This was most likely as a result of changed flight conditions," a Qantas spokesman said, adding that the airline was still investigating what caused the plane to use more fuel than expected.

The aircraft, which refuelled in Adelaide, arrived safely in Melbourne about two hours and 40 minutes later than scheduled.

Headwinds of up to 400 kilometres an hour can occur in southern Australia at this time of year, drawing on the plane's fuel tanks, Australian and International Pilots Association vice-president Richard Woodward said.

"It is rare (to divert to refuel). It's something that we don't do very often," Captain Woodward told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Qantas temporarily grounded its entire A380 superjumbo fleet in November following an engine explosion on a flight out of Singapore.

- AFP/ir


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