Qantas grounds A380 after fuel leak strands passengers

Qantas was forced to declare one of its flagship A380 aircraft "unserviceable" last night, after scores of passengers had waited more than 12 hours for a fuel leak to be repaired.

After an all night wait for Qantas Flight 10 from London to Melbourne to get off the ground, passengers were told that the leak from the A380's fuel system could not be repaired in time.

The airline was forced to transfer passengers to a Boeing 747, which eventually departed nearly 13 hours late.

It is the second embarrassing incident involving the A380 for Qantas in five weeks, with another plane grounded at LAX on January 19.

A Qantas spokeswoman said it was natural to expect "the occasional shake down" with a new aircraft and the airline was working with Airbus to resolve the issues.

"Our engineers are currently working to resolve the issue and we hope to have the aircraft return to service very soon," the spokeswoman said.

"We are working very closely with airbus, but we remain committed to the A380, as the cornerstone of our new generation. We apologise to our customers."