A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 superjumbo heading for Frankfurt has been forced to turn back to Singapore, due to a problem with one of its four engines, the carrier says.
More than 430 passengers were transferred to another plane upon returning to Singapore, and the new flight took off for Frankfurt at about 2pm (AEDT) on Tuesday.
"Singapore Airlines flight SQ26 from Singapore to Frankfurt turned back to Singapore about 2hr 55mins into the flight after the crew reported a problem with one of the aircraft's four engines," an SIA statement said.
"The crew reported an engine surge in the Number 3 engine and the engine was shut down... a surge is typically a disruption of airflow which affects the normal operation of the engine," it added.
SIA said passengers' safety was not compromised by the shutdown of the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine, stressing that the A380 was "capable of flying safely on three engines".
The airline said it was "looking into the incident and the engine will undergo thorough inspections in consultation with Rolls-Royce".
The British engine maker said it was working with SIA to investigate the incident.
Rolls-Royce has faced teething problems with its engines for the world's biggest passenger plane since a Qantas A380 made an emergency landing in Singapore in November 2010 after one of its engines exploded mid-air.
Last July, an SIA A380 flying from Singapore to Hong Kong was forced to turn back after an engine shut down while the plane was ascending.