Turbine blades in the Trent 1000 engines are wearing out much quicker than expected, affecting around 200 planes and causing problems for a range of airlines including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. In August, the Rolls-Royce chief executive, Warren East, told investors: “Some parts of the Trent 1000 engine are turning out not to last as long in service as their original design lives. These components need to be replaced as they are detected during inspection.”
Some airlines are using the Boeing 777s in place of the aircraft to maintain the scheduled flights. The Heathrow-Doha route is regarded as the most replaceable of all BA’s long-haul services, because Qatar Airways — which owns one-fifth of British Airways’ parent company, IAG — has six daily flights on the route onto which displaced BA passengers can be accommodated. Virgin Atlantic has also “temporarily parked” some 787s, and has taken number of steps to protect customer journeys.
A spokesperson for the engine maker told, “We sincerely regret any disruption caused by our engine that our customer is experiencing and we are working together to minimise this impact and restore full flight operations as soon as possible.”