This winter, British Airways will be cutting capacity on its Heathrow to Miami service due to ongoing problems with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine. The airline will only offer two flights a day. However, it has stated that its partner, American Airlines, will continue to provide 21 flights per week.
What’s the problem?
British Airways has been experiencing problems with the Rolls-Royce engine for several months now. In February of this year, the Financial Times reported that the airline had been forced to ground a plane at Heathrow for almost a year due to engine failure. Several other airlines have also been forced to ground planes with the Trent 1000 engine.
Rolls-Royce announced an extensive redesign and repair initiative due to the unexpectedly fast deterioration of a turbine in the engine.
The engine, which is used to power Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, has been limited by a directive from the US Federal Aviation Authority until a permanent solution is found by Rolls-Royce.
How does this affect airlines?
Problems with the Trent 1000 engine are not limited to British Airways. Several other airlines including Virgin Atlantic, ANA and Norwegian Air Shuttle, have all had issues with the engine and have been forced to ground several aircraft as a precaution.
As a result of the grounded Dreamliners, BA has announced that it will be cutting the service it offers from London Heathrow to Miami to just 4,718 seats per week in each direction during the coming winter months. This is a massive cut of 41% fewer seats available compared to the 8,001 seats per week offered last winter.
Although the 787 Dreamliner did not operate on this route last year, the airline has been forced to reschedule and reorder its operations in order to accommodate the change. The airline will be operating Boeing 747-400’s on the route this winter.
In a statement to SimpleFlying, British Airways commented,
“Like a number of airlines around the world, we are carrying out detailed precautionary inspections on Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines which are fitted to our Boeing 787s.
“To facilitate the engine inspections and any associated maintenance we have had to make some adjustments to our schedule and are rebooking customers onto alternative services or offering them a refund.”
Flight Global is reporting that British Airways will return to operating three flights a day on the Heathrow to Miami route in time for Summer 2020.
What does this mean for the Trent 1000 engine and Rolls-Royce?
Well, the Trent 1000 engine has been plagued with issues for a while now. This is an ongoing problem which the company has been attempting to address for several months, causing widespread disruption among airlines. Some airlines have been wet-leasing aircraft in order to make up for the planes which are still grounded.
In a September statement, Rolls-Royce said that due to ongoing maintenance and repair issues, “we now expect the return to single-digit level of AOGs [aircraft on ground] on the Trent 1000 to be delayed until Q2 2020. We deeply regret the additional disruption that this will cause our customers and we continue to work closely with them to minimise the impact on their operations.”
Bloomberg noted that as a result of the announcement, Rolls-Royce shares dropped by as much as 5%. So it seems that despite the company’s best efforts to fix the Trent 1000, we will be seeing the impact of the engine failure well into next year.
With airlines continuing to implement plans to address problems caused by grounded aircraft and offering refunds to those who have had flights cancelled of changed, we want to know if your travel plans have been affected by the Trent 1000 failures?