Dreamliners further affected as Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 develops more problems

The Rolls-Royce 1000 Trent engine which powers the Boeing Dreamliner has developed further problems, which has caused concern over safety and which has created potential disruption for carriers including British Airways and Norwegian.

Having currently focused its attention on trying to fix durability problems with the ‘Package C’ version of the engine, 166 of its ‘Package B’ engines now require further inspection. The problem would appear to be of a similar nature – parts are wearing out faster than anticipated.

Already aircraft have been grounded as a result of ‘Package C’ problems, while airlines including Virgin Atlantic have been forced to lease alternative aircraft.

Rolls-Royce initially warned that the company would be likely to take a financial hit on the region of £370 M (US$496 M) to fix the problems with the ‘Package C’ engines, but in April it was mooted that this figure would have to be revised upwards to take into account the replacement of more parts and the payment of compensation to airlines. Industry analysts predict the final figure could well be around the £1.00 billion (US$1.34 B) mark.

Chris Cholerton, Rolls-Royce President Civil Aerospace, said: “We are working closely with our customers to minimize any operational impact of these inspections and we deeply appreciate their continued co-operation. We remain absolutely committed to eliminating this issue from the Trent 1000 fleet.”

There is an investor’s day being held this Friday in London and Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Warren East is expected to announce over 4,000 job losses, predominantly resulting from a major thinning out of middle-management positions as opposed to front-line engineering posts. Analysts are predicting a higher figure of job losses at around 10% of the current 50,000-strong workforce.

Current plans in place to offset the impact of the engine faults beyond cutting jobs will likely include reducing non-essential spending on travel and IT upgrades.

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