With an expanded capability for the Trent engine family, Singapore Aero Engine Services Pte Ltd (SAESL), a 50-50 joint venture between Rolls-Royce (RR, Chalet N23) and Singapore Airlines Engineering Co (SAEC), is confident that its business will grow as the Asia-Pacific fleet expands to meet demand.
According to the company's president for Southeast Asia, Pacific, and South Korea, Bicky Bhangu, speaking at a pre-airshow briefing on January 20, SAESL is projected to overhaul 320 Trent engines annually, an increase of 14.3 percent from 2019. This is attributed to R-R’s expanding fleet of in-service Trent engines. SAESL’s overhaul capability covers the Trent 800, 900, XWB and Trent 1000. SAESL’s component repair supports both in-house and global component repair demand.
The company has the capability to repair 80 percent of the engine. This includes five accredited centers of excellence for fan blades, compressor blades, nozzle guide vanes, compressor stator vanes, and front combustion liners. Bhangu said SAESL serves customers globally with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. On reducing engine turnaround time, Bhangu noted that the company is constantly working to introduce new methods, and this includes for component repair.
Located on a sprawling site 10 miles outside the city, SAESL was set up in 1999. It started operations two years later, initially overhauling the Trent 800 engine. SAESL CEO Simon Middleborough said the company will overhaul its last Trent 800 engine later this year.
SAESL is one of the four R-R Trent engine overhaul facilities outside the United Kingdom. Due to its rapid growth and expansion, it has become an integral part of R-R’s aftermarket services. The other three are the joint venture with Lufthansa Technik in Germany; Hong Kong Aero Engine Services Ltd (HAESL), a joint venture with Cathay Pacific; and Delta TechOps in Atlanta, which is wholly owned by Delta Airlines.
Equipped with an engine test facility within the facility, SAESL is capable of carrying out tests on all Trent engines. The state-of-the-art SAESL facility is the center of excellence for the Trent 900 and is also the lead MRO facility for the Trent XWB that powers Airbus A350 models. Middleborough said SAESL has already overhauled the first Trent XWB engine from Singapore Airlines, with another four or possibly five in the pipeline to be overhauled in 2020. SAESL, with a workforce of about 1,500 working on two shifts, is the largest outfit outside the UK. Its engine pool services offer an immediate option for engine availability to the customer on a lease basis.