Rolls-Royce to step up inspections of Trent 1000 engines

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The engineering giant claimed that its cash flow for 2018 would be unaffected at around £450m, as it would cut non-essential spending on travel, IT upgrades and other costs to offset the financial impact. The Civil Aerospace segment provides commercial aero engines, such as airlines, business aviation, and helicopter engines for various sectors of the airline and corporate jet markets, as well as aftermarket services.

Even before today's revelations, Rolls-Royce had said a redesign of problem parts for the 787 wouldn't be fully incorporated in the fleet until 2022.

More than 50 percent of the Dreamliner fleet are powered by the rival GE GEnX-1B engines.

"We sincerely regret the disruption this will cause to our customers", CEO Warren East said in a statement. "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".

The airline has not yet released details of schedule changes but this morning said there would be disruption.

A Rolls spokesman added that aviation safety regulators would be issuing guidance to the airlines in the coming days.

Problems with turbine blades on the engines wearing out sooner than expected have hampered a restructuring programme at Rolls prompted by declining older engine programmes and plunging demand for oil equipment.

It has also redesigned specific parts of the compressor, with the first parts now in manufacturer and due to be incorporated in engines early next year after first being validated and certified.

New inspections will lead to additional disruption for the 380 Package C engines now in-service with airlines.

Norwegian Air, which has the engines in 15 of its 27 Boeing 787s, said it hopes to have inspected all of its engines before May 26 and that it had already found one problem that required an engine to be replaced.

"Trent 1000 Package C engines that have operated fewer than 300 cycles are unaffected by this directive, " it said.

The Trent 1000 engine powers 380 planes around the world, including nine of Air New Zealand's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Air New Zealand expects that there will be some impact to its global schedule as a result of the checks.

Other airlines facing disruption include British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.