Rolls-Royce to increase inspections of Trent 1000 engines

Rolls-Royce's Trent 1000 engines to undergo further inspections as it warns of disruption to customers

Airlines operating Boeing 787 Dreamliners with certain Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines are facing further disruption after the United Kingdom engine manufacturer called for additional inspections of a problematic part.

Rolls said that 380 Package C engines, which are under review, are now in service with airlines, but added that the Trent 1000 Package B and Trent 1000 TEN are not impacted.

Rolls-Royce has been plagued by issues with the blades in the Trent 1000 engine model, which is used in Boeing 787s, and some Trent 900 engines, amid reports of early corrosion or wear to parts. Durability problems with the Trent 1000 and an engine used on the Airbus SE A380 led to a £170m cash cost past year, and that figure was already set to double in 2018.

Rolls-Royce announced in a statement this morning that it had made a decision to carry out additional engine inspections on its problematic Trent 1000 engines to those it had previously planned.

This is a known issue and we will continue to work with Rolls-Royce, our customers and the regulators to fully resolve it. Boeing is deploying support teams to mitigate service disruption.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plans to reduce the amount of time the affected planes can fly on a single engine after a failure of the other.

The required maintenance of some Trent 1000s has led to a shortage of the engine type while the affected parts are replaced and returned to service.

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"Our team of technical experts and service engineers is working around the clock to ensure we return them to full service as soon as possible", he said.

A Virgin spokeswoman said it had been aware of the increased inspections and that the cover it had in place would be sufficient.

British Airways, Japan's ANA, Air New Zealand and Thai Airways, which also use Trent 1000 engines, were not available for immediate comment.

An existing EASA Airworthiness Directive for the Package C engine requires inspections of an IPC blade at certain flight cycles.

Air New Zealand is one of the airlines affected by the problem, with nine of the Package C engines, said it expected there would be some impact on its worldwide schedule as a result of the additional checks.

Nevertheless, Rolls confirmed its free-cash-flow guidance for the year at around £450 million.

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