updated 4/1/2010 10:14:14 AM ET 2010-04-01T14:14:14

Australian carrier Qantas said Thursday passengers were not at risk this week when a A380 superjumbo jet burst two tires on landing and another plane was forced to abort a flight after an engine failure.

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The two accidents in as many days have put the spotlight on the airline safety standards ahead of a planned strike over the coming Easter long weekend by engineers who accuse Qantas of using inexperienced managers on overnight shifts.

David Epstein, of Qantas corporate affairs, told reporters that passengers were never in danger.

Two tires under the A380's left wing burst on landing in Sydney after a flight from Singapore on Wednesday night. Video footage showed sparks and smoke flying from the wheel area.

The 244 people aboard were taken by bus to the terminal because the plane could not immediately taxi from the runway.

Qantas said an issue with the braking system caused the blowout. The plane was cleared to fly again and departed Thursday night for Singapore.

"Tires do burst on aircraft, that's why aircraft have multiple safety systems and multiple tires," Epstein said, noting that the A380 has 20 tires in total.

The plane is one of six A380s that Qantas has put in service since 2008.

Airbus Australia declined comment, saying the issue only concerned Qantas.

On Tuesday evening, a Qantas 747 jumbo with 414 people aboard bound for Singapore was forced to turn back to Sydney 45 minutes after takeoff because of an engine problem.

It landed safely after dumping fuel, and about four hours later passengers were put on another flight to Singapore.

Epstein said engine surges were a known phenomenon on Boeing 747 jets.

"The fact is, it was an engine surge on one engine out of a four-engine aircraft," he said. "The aircraft was able to be returned quite safely."

The airplane troubles come as the union of professional engineers that service the Qantas fleet plans its weekend strike to protest what it describes as inexperienced managers filling in on overnight shifts.

"Qantas continues to bring in inexperienced workers to cover the roles of our specialist senior professional members," union spokeswoman Alison Rose said when the strike was announced Wednesday.

Rose said the substitute managers had little or no experience with the A380s.

In late 2008, Australia's aviation safety agency ordered Qantas to improve its maintenance system following a review prompted by a series of safety problems.

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