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EXCLUSIVE: Oprah Winfrey's Australian Trip Could Be Grounded By Qantas Airplane Malfunction


Nov. 4 2010, Published 5:19 a.m. ET

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On Thursday, Qantas Airlines- the company Oprah Winfrey intends on using for the John Travolta-piloted flight for her audience- grounded its entire fleet of A380 Airbuses after a craft carrying more than 440 passengers and 26 crew members was forced to land when part of one of its engines disintegrated in mid-flight. has the talk show host’s current plans for the trip following the harrowing incident.

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The flight, which originated in Singapore and was destined for Sydney, was abandoned 15 minutes after take off after passengers heard a loud bang, accompanied by smoke and sparks sputtering out of an engine, as the plane hovered over Indonesia.

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No one was hurt, the airline said, adding that the plane was safely diverted back to Singapore, and arrangements were being made for those aboard in terms of lodging and substitute flights. 

"We have commenced our own investigations as to how this incident occurred and have notified the ATSB," the company said in a statement Thursday. "We will continue to work with them as they investigate the issue. The flight crew carried out standard procedure for this situation."

Qantas added that "it has suspended scheduled A380 takeoffs until sufficient information has been obtained about what occurred.”

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So where does that leave Oprah and her guests?

In an exclusive statement to, a spokesperson for The Oprah Winfrey Show said, “We are grateful that everyone aboard Qantas flight QF32 is safe and there were no injuries to passengers or crew.

"The safety of our trip attendees is our first priority," the show told "We have been in touch with Qantas and are discussing all our travel options for our December trip. We will continue to monitor the situation closely."

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The talk show icon announced the trip to great fanfare during her season premiere in September, where she endorsed the airline and its A380. Travolta, who is slated to pilot the flight taking Winfrey and the others to Australia, also endorsed the A380.


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