Air New Zealand 'working closely' with Rolls-Royce on engine issue

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5 1 830x553

Rolls-Royce is warning of further disruption to Boeing 787 operators after disclosing that it will be conducting expanded inspections of certain Trent 1000 engines.

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.

Rolls-Royce issued a directive that maintenance checks on a specific part of the Trent 1000 engine compressor are to be undertaken every 300 one-way journeys rather than every 2000.

Rolls-Royce has warned of a bigger than expected hit to its finances as the cost of fixing problems with early versions of the company's latest jet engines grow.

Even before today's revelations, Rolls-Royce had said a redesign of problem parts for the 787 wouldn't be fully incorporated in the fleet until 2022.

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.

"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.

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Air New Zealand experienced turbine blade problems in planes on successive days last December and this led to accelerated repairs in Singapore for the engines and disruption to tens of thousands of passengers. "Our team of technical experts and service engineers is working around the clock to ensure we return them to full service as soon as possible".

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

The airline has not yet released details of schedule changes but this morning said there would be disruption.

"We sincerely regret the disruption this will cause to our customers", CEO East said in a statement.

"Virgin Atlantic has up to four 787s grounded at any one time while it sources replacement engines with Rolls and has also leased three Airbus A330-200s to help to cover its flying programme".

In a statement, Air New Zealand said there would be some impact to its global schedule, however it could not say how many flights would be affected or when.

"Trent 1000 Package C engines that have operated fewer than 300 cycles are unaffected by this directive, " it said.

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