16-Nov-2010 11:07 AM

Rolls-Royce to replace all affected Trent 900 engines during repairs

Rolls-Royce reportedly plans to replace all Trent 900 engines with oil leaks in A380 aircraft (Associated Press, 15-Nov-2010). The company plans to replace the faulty engines, fix the leaking part and then swap the engines back. It was reported yesterday Rolls-Royce plans to replace up to 29 engines, including seven for Qantas, up to 20 for Singapore Airlines and two for Lufthansa, but more recent reports state Qantas will require up to 14 new Trent 900 engines (Reuters/The Financial Times, 15-Nov-2010). There are concerns the replacement programme could lead to a shortage of available spare parts (New York Times, 15-Nov-2010).

  • Qantas CEO Alan Joyce stated it has established a “hospital line” to manage the checking, dismantling, upgrading and reinstalling of the Trent 900 engines (Sydney Morning Herald, 16-Nov-2010). Work will be done on the engines at Rolls-Royce’s engine facilities in Hong Kong and the UK. Mr Joyce stated he does not know at this stage how long the process will take.
  • Airbus stated the Qantas A380 damaged in the engine explosion last week “handled the explosion well”, as the A380s are designed to handle such incidents (The Australian, 16-Nov-2010). COO John Leahy stated he does not see any significant issues with the A380’s design but will welcome any recommendations from investigators. Airbus will not receive access to the damaged A380 this week, but Mr Leahy stated he was unsure how long it would take to repair.
  • Lufthansa stated it expects no delays for its future A380 deliveries. The carrier plans to take delivery of its fourth A380 on 16-Nov-2010, which has undergone all the new tests mandated by the European Air Safety Agency last week. A further four A380s are scheduled for delivery in 1H2011. All 15 A380s ordered are to be equipped with the Trent 900 engines. One of the carrier’s A380s aborted taxiing before take-off at Frankfurt Airport on 15-Nov-2010 over a possible undercarriage fault (Bloomberg, 16-Nov-2010). The incident has no connection to the Trent 900 engine issue. The aircraft has been grounded.
  • Singapore Airlines confirmed two of its three A380s grounded last week are now back in service after engine changes. Works are continuing on the third aircraft. Singapore Airlines stated it is unclear how many of its 44 Trent 900 engines will need to be removed for modifications until checks across all 11 A380s are completed, but admitted “quite a number” may need to be replaced.

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