PARIS: Air France-KLM finalising pact for Trent XWB support

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Air France-KLM has yet to finalise an agreement with Rolls-Royce regarding engine maintenance for Trent XWB powerplants despite the firming of its order for 25 A350s.

Although the Trent XWB is the only powerplant currently available for the A350-900s, the engine supply pact is still the subject of a memorandum of understanding.

Rolls-Royce civil large engines president Eric Schulz says the company is looking forward to "forging a strong relationship" with the carrier group.

Air France-KLM, which has been a loyal GE engine customer, has its own maintenance operation and has vowed to provide its own support to the Rolls-Royce powerplant - putting it at odds with the UK engine manufacturer which offers its own TotalCare aftermarket service, and has an overhaul facility in Germany.

Rolls-Royce is still discussing the final arrangement for the engine support, which will determine whether the carrier group adopts a time-and-materials approach or a TotalCare contract.

A source familiar with the discussions indicates that the two sides could reach an agreement under which, even through a TotalCare contract, the carrier group will have the flexibility to work on its own engines.

KLM chief Peter Hartman says the memorandum with Rolls-Royce would enable Air France-KLM to "work with" the engine manufacturer on maintenance support for the Trent XWB.

Rolls-Royce says the engine agreement, once firmed, will be worth $1.1 billion at list prices.