Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific has taken deliveries of Rolls-Royce's Trent 700 into four figures, after accepting the 1,000th example of the turbofan for the Airbus A330.

Rolls-Royce said the delivery brings the engine type "full circle" because the carrier was also the first to operate the powerplant 16 years ago. The portfolio has since expanded to nearly 50 operators.

The manufacturer said more than 50% of the A330s in service, or on order, are Trent 700 aircraft, against the rival Pratt & Whitney PW4000 and General Electric CF6. Within the Middle East it claims the share rises to about 75%.

It also has a dominant share of the A330-200 freighter market, where it competes only against P&W, having secured orders from seven of the nine customers for the type.

Rolls-Royce said that, as a result, production on the engine is running at its highest since the programme began - some 170 examples per year - and the total order book stands at some 1,400 powerplants.

"We expect it to stay at [high levels] for a number of years to come," the manufacturer added.

Rolls-Royce improved the baseline engine by developing an enhanced-performance version, the 700EP, which used technology originally brought to the Trent 1000 for the Boeing 787.

Cathay was the launch customer for the EP retrofit kit and Rolls-Royce said that around 100 kits had been supplied to customers, in addition to the 400 new-build EP engines in service.

"We're seeing strong uptake for [the kit]," the company added.

With the development of the A350, for which Rolls-Royce is offering the Trent XWB engine as the sole powerplant option, the long-term prospects for the Trent 700 are unclear.

But the manufacturer said it will continue to "flow" technology into the engine where practical and is "looking at further opportunities" for upgrade, although nothing specific is planned. "We've many more years of Trent 700 service ahead of us," it said.

Source: Flight Daily News