An Emirates Airline Airbus A380 flew for about 13 hours with a huge hole in the fuselage between Dubai and Brisbane, Australia, on Friday.
Passengers on flight EK 430 reported that a noise was heard about 45 minutes after takeoff from Dubai, an alarm sounded, but the crew continued the journey as if there was no problem.
It was only when disembarking in Australia that passengers noticed the huge hole in the fairing that covers the connection between the left wing and the fuselage. The image below posted on social media shows the open hole, about 1.5 meters wide.
According to Emirates, the cause of the damage was the burst of one of the 22 tires on the main landing gear during the cruise flight.
“One of the aircraft’s 22 tires ruptured during cruise, causing damage to a small portion of the aerodynamic fairing, which is an outer panel or the skin of the aircraft,” the carrier said in a statement.
“At no point did it have any impact on the fuselage, frame or structure of the aircraft. The fairing has been completely replaced, checked and cleared by engineers, Airbus and all relevant authorities.”
The affected area is covered by composite material and is not involved in the structure that keeps the aircraft pressurized, hence it can be deduced that the pilots saw no reason to return to Dubai.
On Sunday, the A380 involved in the incident, registration A6-EVK, with the inscription “Journey to The Future”, carried out the return flight EK 431, between Brisbane and Dubai.