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Expanded Trent 1000 inspections set to disrupt 787 operations

Expanded Trent 1000 inspections set to disrupt 787 operations

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 a year ago, and that figure was already set to double in 2018.

Problems with engine turbine blades wearing out sooner than expected have hampered a restructuring programme prompted by the engineering company's declining older engine programmes and plunging demand for oil equipment.

It stresses that neither the Trent 1000 TEN powerplant nor the Package B version of the engine will be affected by the new inspections.

It said on Friday that more regular inspections are required and would lead "to higher than previously guided cash costs being incurred during 2018". It said it would reprioritise its spending to mitigate the incremental cash costs and its guidance for free cash flow remained unchanged.

Boeing said the 787 has safely flown more than 3.2 billion miles since entering commercial service in 2011.

Not all Dreamliners are powered by Rolls-Royce engines and those using General Electric GEnx engines are also unaffected.

It says the new regime follows further insight into the durability issue affecting the compressors, and admits that the inspections will "unfortunately lead to additional disruption" for its 787 customers.




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

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.

It adds that it will work with Boeing and the 787 customers affected in an effort to reduce disruption.

"Our focus is on supporting our customers and doing all we can to minimise any impact on their operations", says Rolls-Royce chief executive Warren East.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will also order increased inspections of affected engines in line with actions outlined by Rolls-Royce.

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.

In March, Rolls said the cash hit from the problem should peak at £340mn in 2018 before falling in 2019.


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