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14 April 2018, 07:53 | Kelvin Horton
Rolls-Royce to increase inspections of Trent 1000 engines
Engineering giant Rolls-Royce has said it will carry out more rigorous engine inspection after ongoing issues with the Trent 1000 engine used for Boeing's 787s, warning of disruption for its customers.
The manufacturer said the increased inspections were driven by "our further understanding of the durability of the Trent 1000 Package C compressor".
The Trent 1000 snag, which concerns the engine compressor, has led to unscheduled shop visits for dozens of Boeing Co's 787s at carriers including Virgin Atlantic Ltd and British Airways, costing Rolls more than £220 million in charges previous year.
Rolls said it would reprioritise spending to mitigate the costs and kept its 2018 free cash flow guidance unchanged at around 450 million pounds ($643 million), give or take 100 million pounds.
"We sincerely regret the disruption this will cause to our customers", CEO Warren East said in a statement.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plans to reduce the amount of time the affected planes can fly on a single engine after a failure of the other.
Not all Dreamliners are powered by Rolls-Royce engines and those using General Electric GEnx engines are also unaffected.
We will be working closely with Boeing and affected airlines to minimise disruption wherever possible.
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.
Rolls-Royce said last month it was facing a £370m bill this year because of the engines, but on Friday indicated that replacing more parts and paying airlines compensation will push that figure higher. Virgin has also leased three Airbus A330-200s to help cover its flying programme.
An existing EASA Airworthiness Directive for the Package C engine requires inspections of an IPC blade at certain flight cycles.
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.
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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