Gulf Air has selected the Rolls-Royce Trent 700EP turbofan to power 20 previously ordered Airbus A330 aircraft, along with a TotalCare long-term service agreement. With the spares, the order totals 44 engines for $1.5 billion. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2012.
However, Ismael Karimi, Gulf Air’s deputy CEO, said A330 deliveries will be brought forward to 2011, if possible. The new aircraft will replace some older ones and enable the airline to open new routes. The Trent 700EP (which stands for enhanced performance) improves fuel burn by a claimed 1 percent.
Rolls-Royce’s senior vice president airlines Phil Harris has great expectations that the Middle East will help soften the global recession in air transport. “There is genuine, structural growth,” he said.
Gulf Air has also renewed a previous TotalCare contract for 10 A330s that are in service. The engines will be serviced at Rolls-Royce’s Hong Kong Aero Engine Services Ltd. joint venture.
In other news, Rolls-Royce has signed a five-year extension to an existing TotalCare agreement with German charter operator Condor. The $150 million contract covers the airline’s fleet of Boeing 757s, powered by RB211-535EAs.