Thursday 30 March 2017

Now Singapore grounds planes in Rolls-Royce crisis

David Robertson

THE CRISIS over Rolls-Royce's Trent 900 engine continued yesterday when Singapore Airlines grounded three of its A380 superjumbos.

The airline made its decision after engine checks had been carried out on Trent 900-powered A380s in London, Melbourne and Sydney.

Qantas, the Australian carrier, has also grounded its A380 fleet after one of its aircraft suffered an engine blowout last week.

The plane, which was carrying 459 passengers at the time of the incident, was forced to make an emergency landing in Singapore.

The engine explosion has forced Rolls's Trent 900 customers -- Qantas, Singapore and Lufthansa -- to examine their engines for faults.

Alan Joyce, Qantas's chief executive, said this week oil stains had been found in three of its A380s and that those engines would be replaced.

Singapore will also replace its three suspect engines. The remaining eight A380s in its fleet showed no problems.

Share price

Lufthansa said it had not found any oil leaks in its Trent 900s but would replace one engine after finding an unrelated problem.

The uncertainty about the safety of the Trent 900 has damaged Rolls's share price as investors worried about the potential costs associated with fixing the problem and paying compensation to customers.

The shares fell 18 and-a-half pence yesterday to 588p and are down more than 10pc since last week's Qantas incident.

Rolls's shares briefly rallied on Monday, when the British company said it was making progress towards finding a cause of the engine problems. However, it has given no further guidance since then.

A spokesman for Singapore Airlines said the airline did not know how long the affected A380s would be out of service.

Meanwhile, Boeing was forced to suspend test flights of its 787 Dreamliner yesterday after one of its aircraft made an emergency landing in Texas.

The flight was aborted after smoke filled the cockpit and 42 people were evacuated down emergency slides.

Boeing said it did not know for how long 787 testing would be on hold.

Irish Independent

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