Delta Air Lines’ maintenance division has completed its first overhaul shop visit of a Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine.

R-R says that the Delta TechOps started work on the powerplant – an option on the Boeing 787 – in late 2018, and that the overhaul shop visit represented an “opportunity to learn more about the engine”.

In 2018, R-R recruited Delta TechOps as a Trent 1000 repair facility as part of its effort to expand maintenance capacity in order to deal with in-service issues on the powerplant.

Delta TechOps and R-R had previously arranged to service Trent XWB and Trent 7000 engines, which power the Airbus A350 and A330neo respectively. Both types have been ordered by Delta, while the 787 is not part of the US carrier’s fleet plan.

The first Trent 1000 serviced by Delta TechOps was an engine from Virgin Atlantic’s 787 fleet, R-R indicates. Delta has a 49% shareholding in the carrier.

R-R describes its network of MRO facilities as being “increasingly capable, competitive and flexible", and able to “minimise” engine maintenance time.

Several operators have had to ground 787s as a result of blade durability issues on the Trent 1000.

Delta TechOps senior vice-president Don Mitacek states: “We’ve learned a lot over the past few months and are confident we can continue to expand alongside our partners.”

The MRO provider converted several aircraft hangar bays to establish the engine shop.

A new test cell for engines with up to 150,000lb (667kN) thrust is scheduled to open later this year.