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Qantas leaks hit Rolls-Royce shares

Manufacturing giant Rolls-Royce has suffered another shares slump after the chief executive of Qantas said oil leaks were discovered in three engines on board its superjumbo fleet.

Qantas grounded six giant A380s after an engine burst minutes into a flight from Singapore to Sydney last week, scattering debris over Indonesia's Batam island.

Qantas boss Alan Joyce said engineers found leaks beyond an acceptable level in three engines, built by Rolls-Royce, on separate A380s.

Rolls-Royce, which is working with Qantas on the investigation, has seen its market value fall more than £1.5 billion since the incident. Shares shed 4% or 23p to 567.3p.

Singapore Airlines, which also flies the superjumbo aircraft, said that its inspections had found no problems with the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines.

Qantas and Rolls-Royce engineers carried out eight hours of extensive checks on each engine over the weekend.

Mr Joyce told a press conference: "The oil leaks were beyond normal tolerances. So Rolls-Royce and our engineers have looked at what we have gathered as an accepted level and they have passed that threshold."

He went on: "All of these engines are new engines on a new aircraft type. The engines are not performing to the parameters that you would expect with this."

Mr Joyce said all of the airline's A380s would be grounded for at least an additional 72 hours.

Mr Joyce added: "We are not going to take any risks whatsoever. We want to make sure we have a 100% safe operation."

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