British Airways says its trial flight “revealed no variations in the aircraft’s normal performance”.
April 19: British Airways claims that its trial flight on April 18 through the no-fly zone around the ash plume has “revealed no variations in the aircraft’s normal operational performance”.
Rolls-Royce, the engine manufacturer, monitored the performance of the engines from their base in Derby in real time and BA says it has a full digital image record of the aircraft before and after the flight, and has completed borescope inspections of each engine, including the compressors, combustor, vanes and turbines. A number of engine oil and fuel filters have been removed for analysis by Rolls-Royce and replaced.
Commenting on the technical report, British Airways’ Chief Executive Willie Walsh said “The analysis we have done so far, alongside that from other airlines’ trial flights, provides fresh evidence that the current blanket restrictions on airspace are unnecessary.
“Since airspace was closed on Thursday our assessment is that the risk has been minimal and can be managed by alternative procedures to maintain the highest safest standards. We call on the Government urgently to adopt new policies that would allow us to resume flying. Safety is the overriding priority for an airline. We use our expertise in risk assessment across a wide range of safety issues to make decisions on the safe operation of flights every day. We believe that we should be allowed to take the same responsibility over safety issues over the recent volcanic eruptions in Iceland.”