Economy

Rolls-Royce to increase inspections of Trent 1000 engines

Rolls-Royce to increase inspections of Trent 1000 engines

Durability problems with the Trent 1000 and an engine used on the Airbus SE A380 led to a £170m cash cost previous year, and that figure was already set to double in 2018.

In an embarrassment for one of the UK's top engineering groups, the company said that more inspections will be needed to tackle problems with its Trent 1000 engines, which are used in Boeing's Dreamliner 787.

In its annual result last month Rolls-Royce flagged up an expected £300m price-tag for repairing cracking and corrosion in the turbine blades of the Trent 1000 jet, an issue first identified two years ago.

"The increased inspection frequency is driven by our further understanding of the durability of the Trent 1000 Package C compressor, a condition that we highlighted earlier this year", the company said, adding that there are 380 Package C engines now in-service with airlines.

It said on Friday that more regular inspections are required and would lead "to higher than previously guided cash costs being incurred during 2018".

"We sincerely regret the disruption this will cause to our customers", CEO Warren East said in a statement. Its civil aerospace business is engaged in the development, manufacture, marketing and sales of commercial aero engines and aftermarket services.

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Shares in Rolls, one of the biggest names in British manufacturing, were down 1 per cent at 1053 GMT.

The need to inspect and fix Trent 1000 engines has led to an industry-wide shortage. 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.

About 200 engines are due for maintenance in coming weeks, according to East, who didn't say whether airline compensation is factored into the new guidance. The Dreamliners will need to be grounded for checks and replacements.

The warning by Rolls-Royce comes ahead of anticipated announcements by USA and European aviation regulators, who are expected to issue guidance to airlines as soon as Friday.

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

Scoot, a budget carrier owned by Singapore Airlines, said it expected some impact on operations. It has retained its free cash flow guidance for for 2018 of around GBP450 million, plus or minus GBP100.0 million.


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