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Rolls-Royce confident on A330neo despite blade fix delay

Rolls-Royce is confident that its postponed introduction of a redesigned Boeing 787 engine blade will not affect similar powerplants that are fitted to the Airbus A330neo.

The manufacturer has been forced to delay implementation of a high-pressure turbine blade fix for the Trent 1000 TEN.

Rolls-Royce's Trent 7000 powerplant for the A330neo shares much of its architecture with the Trent 1000 TEN, and the manufacturer had intended to fit the redesigned blades to both engines.

But the delay affecting the TEN means the upgrade for the Trent 7000 will be similarly pushed back.

Rolls-Royce believes, however, that there is less risk attached to the A330neo fleet, because the twinjet has a "less arduous usage profile".

"We do not expect a material financial impact," says the manufacturer, because the A330neo fleet is younger and smaller than that of the 787.

"We have also been able to plan our maintenance capacity and spare engine provision appropriately to safeguard against customer disruption."

Airbus had delivered 29 A330neos by the end of September. Air Lease and Avolon each have seven, several of which are leased to TAP Air Portugal which has also taken six of its own. Four others are with Delta Airlines, two apiece to Air Calin and BOC Aviation, and one has been delivered to Air Senegal.

Rolls-Royce had expressed confidence earlier this year that the problems associated with the Trent 1000 were "unique" to the powerplant, but that it was monitoring other engine models to check the validity of that assumption.

It points out that the Trent XWB is "surpassing" forecasts for in-service reliability, and that a combination of visual inspections and "positive" engine data has enabled it to keep the "fleet leader" powerplants on the Airbus A350-900 flying longer than initially predicted.

"As a result, we are increasingly confident that the engine will meet and potentially exceed the initial expectations we had for durability and performance," says Rolls-Royce.

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