A memorandum of understanding for a proposed joint venture to undertake Trent engine overhaul and maintenance in Asia- Pacific has been signed by Rolls-Royce, Singapore Airlines Engineering (SIAEC) and Hong Kong Aero Engines Services (HAESL).

HAESL, a joint venture between R-R and Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering, is the only site in Asia-Pacific able to overhaul the Trent, which is in widespread service in the region. To date, seven airlines have ordered more than 300 Trents for Airbus A330/A340s and Boeing 777s.

The new venture, which is half owned by SIAEC, 30% by R-R and 20% by HAESL, is expected to be launched formally by 1999 and will be fully operational in 2000. It marks a further attempt by the UK engine manufacturer to capture a greater share of repair work on its own powerplants, which stands at only 25%. Chairman Sir Ralph Robins says that the goal is to capture 50% of work, adding that the underlying aim is to ensure that the rising flow of lucrative spare parts business does not go outside the group. The overall market for repair of R-R engines is expected to double over the next five years.

The latest venture will be based at a new site near Changi Airport, and will incorporate Trent testbeds and workshops. R-R says that the site will be able to handle up to 200 engines a year. The company will focus initially on repair and overhaul of Trent 800s powering Singapore Airlines' 61 777s.

Source: Flight International