Rolls Royce May Not Make Money On Airbus A350-1000 Engine

Airbus uses a Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 for its A350-1000. For the largest variant in the A350 XWB family, the manufacturer has chosen an engine with a higher thrust than the A350-900’s Trent XWB-84. However, it will recoup the profits over the product over the long-term.

Airbus A350
Qatar Airways was the launch customer of the A350-1000. The flag carrier of Qatar holds 15 of the jets within its fleet. Photo: Airbus

Flight Global reports that Rolls-Royce chief executive Warren East cannot guarantee that the XWB-97 will break even. Its counterpart, the XWB-84 is set to break even at the end of this year.

Executive decision

East spoke about his company’s plans for the later engine. He said that it could make better sense to reinvest the revenue from the product back into the business. This would improve the quality of the overall product range in the long run. Eventually, this would lead to profit down the line.

“It’s possible we actually want to spend the money and have components to improve the durability and time-on-wing for service of a given engine. Because we make more profit out of that than trying to squeeze a technical profit on the [original equipment]”, East said, as reported by Flight Global.

“So generally it’s a good idea to make as little loss as possible on [original equipment]. But when you get in the detail, and you get to the smaller numbers, it might actually be better not to do that, economically, for the programme and our overall profit.”

The A350-1000 is chosen by airlines that are looking to maximize their long-haul routes. Photo: Airbus

Powerful kit

The A350-1000 has a range of up to 16,100 km (8,700 nm). According to Airbus, each engine provides 97,000 lbs. of thrust on takeoff.

This is the most powerful engine developed for a plane manufactured by Airbus. Therefore, long-haul routes between the likes of Shanghai and Boston, Paris and Santiago, and Dubai and Melbourne can be conducted with ease.

Airbus A350 British Airways
British Airways holds five A350-1000 aircraft. The first one of these was delivered to the airline in July of last year. Photo: Airbus

Long-haul servicing

Qatar Airways was the first airline to receive the A350-1000 as its launch customer. It has now been two years since the carrier first operated the widebody.

The jet is also admired for its spacious interior, which airlines configure to give a comforting experience for the lengthy time spent in the air. Those flying on long-distance trips often choose to fly with airlines operating A350s for its comfy and roomy offering.

Simple Flying reached out to Rolls-Royce for comment on its approach to the A350-1000 engine. A spokesperson shared that most engines are sold at a loss initially due to their investment costs. Thereafter, the company recoups this investment through its services through their lifetime.

What are your thoughts about the reasoning behind Rolls-Royce not making a profit on the engine for the Airbus A350-1000? Let us know what you think of the firm’s plan in the comment section.