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Rolls-Royce says tripling capacity to fix Trent 1000 engine problems

Wednesday, May 30, 2018, 14:36 GMT+7

LONDON -- Britain’s Rolls-Royce said it would add people and maintenance space to triple the capacity it has to fix problems with its Trent 1000 engines that have left some of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner planes grounded.

Rolls-Royce will set out details of how it intends to speed up necessary inspections and repairs in a statement due at 0800 GMT on Wednesday, a spokesman for the engine manufacturer said.

Turbine blades and compressors in the Trent 1000 package C engines have not lasted as long as expected, requiring extra inspections and forcing airlines to ground some aircraft while the checks take place.

Checks must be completed by June 9 under a deadline set by safety regulators.

There are 380 package C engines currently in service with airlines such as Air New Zealand, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways, and Rolls has estimated that the number of grounded planes at any one time is about 30.

Shares in Rolls-Royce traded down 0.5 percent at 822.5 pence at 0714 GMT.

Airlines have voiced their frustration over the problem, with planes being grounded in the run-up to the key summer holiday period, putting further pressure on Rolls to speed up the process.

IAG, the owner of British Airways, may have to ground five or six 787 Dreamliners with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines this summer and Chief Executive Willie Walsh said earlier in May he was disappointed by the engine maker’s response.

IAG will lease three Airbus A330 planes and crew from Qatar Airways to make up for the shortfall in the summer.

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