European planemaker Airbus warned on Thursday that "minor cracks" had been found on the wings of some of its flagship A380 superjumbo jets, but insisted that there was no risk to passenger safety.The Toulouse-based company, the main subsidiary of aerospace giant EADS, said it had informed airlines operating the plane about the issue and recommended a way of fixing the problem during standard scheduled maintenance.
"We confirm that minor cracks were found on some non-critical wing rib-skin attachments on a limited number of A380 aircraft," the firm said.
"We have traced the origin. Airbus has developed an inspection and repair procedure which will be done during routine, scheduled four-year maintenance checks," it added.
"In the meantime, Airbus emphasises that the safe operation of the A380 fleet is not affected," it said, adding that European safety regulators had approved the policy and that the plane's performance was not affected.
The A380 is the world's biggest passenger jet and a key product in Airbus's line-up as it battles its main rival US giant Boeing for the top spot in the world civil airliner industry.
The double-decker plane entered service in 2007 after years of technical delays. There are now 67 in service around the world and, while they have never had a fatal accident, there have been teething problems.
In November 2010 a Qantas flight out of Singapore lost an engine to an explosion. The jet landed safely despite damage, but the blast prompted the Australian airline to briefly ground all its A380s.
Seven European and Asian airlines now operate the 525-seater A380, and the company has 243 orders from 18 carriers.