ROLLS-ROYCE HAS made a last-minute bid to secure a contract from Korean Air (KAL) to supply Trent 800 engines for eight Boeing 777s the airline has on order.

KAL had swung toward the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 as the already extended decision deadline of 15 May approached.

Preparations for an official announcement were halted after it became clear that R-R chairman Sir Ralph Robins had travelled to South Korea in support of a new offer.

R-R declines to comment beyond confirming that Robins has been to Seoul. The visit was part of a wider Asian tour undertaken by Robins, says the UK Company.

"They're practically offering the engines to them for free," one Pratt &Whitney executive said of the new R-R offer.

The decision deadline, is now believed to have been extended, until 1 June - the date on which Boeing is demanding a decision from KAL - while the airline board reviews the proposals from each manufacturer.

General Electric's GE90 is thought to be officially out of the running.

Source: Flight International