Rolls-Royce is expecting large engine flying hours to return to – and perhaps exceed – the pre-pandemic level this year, underpinning a recovery in the manufacturer’s civil aerospace division.

Large engine flying hours reached 88% of 2019 levels last year, and Rolls-Royce predicts this figure will climb to 100-110% in 2024.

Rolls-Royce is also forecasting that it will hand over a total of 500-550 new engines this year, compared with last year’s 458.

These 458 engines included 262 for large civil aircraft, among them 149 Trent XWBs for the A350, 74 Trent 7000s for the A330neo, and 38 Trent 1000s for the Boeing 787. Fifty-three of these large engines were spares.

Large civil engine deliveries last year totalled 190.

Rolls-Royce also delivered 196 business aviation engines, up from 165, split between the Pearl and BR700.

Trent XWB-c-Rolls-Royce

Source: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce delivered 118 Trent XWBs for the A350-900 and 31 for the -1000 during 2023

The company’s outlook forecasts total shop visits this year will rise from 1,227 – achieved despite supply-chain constraints – to 1,300-1,400.

Higher shop visits and engine deliveries, it says, combined with “commercial optimisation” drove underlying civil aerospace full-year revenues up 29% to £7.3 billion ($9.3 billion).

Rolls-Royce says higher aftermarket profits, in particular, led to a “significantly improved” underlying operating profit of £850 million.

Large engine orders in 2023 were the highest in more than 15 years, the manufacturer adds, reaching some 700 following major agreements with Air India, Emirates, Turkish Airlines and EVA Air.