UK engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce continues to work to overcome the premature blade deterioration on Trent 1000s that power a part of the Boeing 787 fleet and on Friday warned that remedying the issues will take longer than previously estimated. The reduction in the number of aircraft on ground (AOG) to single digits will likely be delayed until the second quarter of 2020, Rolls-Royce noted in a short statement.
Last month, CEO Warren East said the OEM hoped the Package C and B fleets would return to a single-digit AOG by the end of the year, though he cautioned that a longer delay was “very possible,” mainly owing to the additional MRO load resulting from reduced life expectancy of blades in the high-pressure turbine (HPT) of the Trent 1000 TEN, the latest variant of the engine. This “has remained a challenge,” Rolls conceded, adding that its “proactive” decision to accelerate intermediate-pressure turbine (IPT) blade replacement for the limited number of Package B and C engines still not fitted with the final standard of IPT blade has led to additional engine removals.
“We deeply regret the additional disruption that this will cause our customers and we continue to work closely with them to minimize the impact on their operations,” Rolls-Royce said. It pointed out it is accelerating efforts to further increase its MRO capacity.
Rolls-Royce said its guidance for the cash costs of the Trent 1000 Package B and C in-service issues in 2019 and 2020 remains as announced during its first-half results presentation on August 6.