BA and Rolls-Royce finally seal $5bn Trent deal

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Rolls-Royce and British Airways have finally signed a long-awaited contract for Trent 900 and 1000 engines to power the carrier's forthcoming Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 fleets.

It covers Trent 900s to power 12 A380s (plus seven options) and 24 Boeing 787s (plus 18 options) and is worth more than $5 billion at list prices if all the options are exercised. One new aspect of the contract is the inclusion of the powerplant manufacturer's TotalCare long-term support package.

"We are delighted to have concluded these contracts, which position British Airways strongly for the future," says BA CEO Willie Walsh. "We believe the support of the TotalCare package will significantly benefit British Airways' operations."

His opposite number at Rolls-Royce, Sir John Rose, adds: "We are pleased that British Airways continues to put its trust in our world-class Trent engine technology and service provision."

The agreement was originally announced in September 2007 but has only now been completed: "It's a very complex and detailed contract, especially given the fact that the aircraft haven't been in the fleet when they were due to be in the fleet, for a variety of reasons," says a BA spokesman.

Deliveries of the A380s to BA have been delayed by BA due to the economic downturn, while the 787 has been delayed due to the type's well-publicised development problems.