Engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has told staff it is to suspend with immediate effect production of the Trent 900 powerplant for the Airbus A380 for at least 12 months, days after Airbus’ admission that the aircraft programme was facing heavy delays.

A company spokeswoman says it made the initial announcement to staff to try and give them as much information as quickly as possible, but that it is still too early to know more at this stage. “There’s not much we can say, as we are right in the middle of it. But we just wanted to be up front and as open with staff as possible,” she says.

Trade union Amicus believes the engineering impact of the suspension could be minimal. “We believe most, if not all, of the design work has been done for this engine,” it says. But it adds: “We need to understand a lot more from the company about what impact, if any, it will have on the manufacturing plants.”

The union says it will be meeting with the company next week and will be seeking answers to questions over the potential effect on the workforce.The Rolls-Royce Trent 900 – developed with seven risk-sharing partners – has been selected by seven prospective A380 operators including Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic and Etihad Airways.

Source: FlightGlobal.com