Singapore Airlines grounds two 787-10s citing Rolls-Royce engine problem

Above, the first 787-10 Dreamliner built for Singapore Airlines at its final assembly facility in North Charleston, South Carolina. (Boeing)
Updated 02 April 2019

Singapore Airlines grounds two 787-10s citing Rolls-Royce engine problem

  • The jets have been removed from service pending engine replacement
  • The Trent 1000 TEN is the latest version of an engine that has had a problematic entry into service

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines said on Tuesday it had grounded two Boeing Co. 787-10 jets fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN engines after checks of its fleet found premature blade deterioration.
The jets have been removed from service pending engine replacement, the airline said in a statement.
The Trent 1000 TEN is the latest version of an engine that has had a problematic entry into service. As of late February, Rolls-Royce said 35 787s were grounded globally due to engine blades corroding or cracking prematurely. The manufacturer said it was aiming to reduce the number to 10 by the end of the year.
In February, the company raised a Trent 1000 accounting charge to $1.03 billion (£790 million) from £554 million at the half year, contributing to a full-year operating loss of £1.16 billion. It also allocated another £100 million in cash to the problem.
Rolls-Royce said on Tuesday that since the entry into service of the Trent 1000 TEN, it had communicated to operators that the high-pressure turbine blades in the engine would have a limited life.
“Working with operators, we have been sampling a small population of the Trent 1000 TEN fleet that has flown in more arduous conditions,” the manufacturer said in a statement. “This work has shown that a small number of these engines need to have their blades replaced earlier than scheduled.”
Rolls-Royce said its engineers were already developing and testing an enhanced version of the turbine blade.
“We will now work closely with any impacted customers to deliver an accelerated program to implement the enhanced blade and to ensure that we can deliver on our Trent 1000 TEN future commitments,” the company said. “We regret any disruption this causes to airline operations.”


Automakers expect Trump will delay decision on imposing EU, Japan tariffs

Updated 45 min 40 sec ago

Automakers expect Trump will delay decision on imposing EU, Japan tariffs

  • Foreign companies are eager to highlight US investments to try to dissuade US president

Major automakers think US President Donald Trump will again this week push back a self-imposed deadline on whether to put up to 25 percent tariffs on national security grounds on imported cars and parts from the EU and Japan amid an ongoing trade war with China, five auto officials told Reuters.

The anticipated delay — expected to be announced later this week — comes as foreign automakers are eager to highlight US investments to try to dissuade Trump from using tariffs that they argue could cost US jobs.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said earlier this month tariffs may not be necessary. EU officials expect Trump to announce a six-month delay when he faces a self-imposed deadline this week. Trump in May delayed a decision on tariffs by up to 180 days as he ordered US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to pursue negotiations.

Lighthizer’s office recently asked many foreign automakers to provide a tally of investments they have made in the US, several auto industry officials told Reuters.

The White House and Lighthizer’s office declined to comment.

FASTFACTS

• US is considering 25 percent tariffs on national security grounds on imported cars and parts from the EU and Japan.

• President Donald Trump in May delayed a decision on tariffs by up to 180 days as he ordered US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to pursue negotiations.

On Wednesday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican ally of Trump’s, plans to attend a groundbreaking at Volkswagen AG’s Chattanooga assembly plant where they will mark the beginning of an $800 million expansion to build electric vehicles and add 1,000 jobs. The high-profile event will also include remarks from Germany’s ambassador to the US.

VW announced the plan to begin producing EVs by 2022 in Tennessee in January.

Daimler AG said in late 2017 it planned to invest $1 billion to expand its manufacturing footprint around Tuscaloosa, Alabama, creating more than 600 jobs. Tariffs on Japan seem even less likely than the EU, experts say.

Japanese automakers and suppliers have announced billions of dollars in investments, most notably a $1.6 billion joint venture plant in Alabama by Toyota Motor Corp and Mazda Motor Corp.

Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed a limited trade deal in September cutting tariffs on US farm goods, Japanese machine tools and other products.

Although the agreement does not cover trade in autos, Abe said in September he had received reassurance from Trump that the US would not impose auto tariffs on national security grounds. Lighthizer said the two countries would tackle cars in negotiations expected to start next April.

Stefan Mair, member of the executive board of the BDI German industry association, said a deal to permanently remove the threat of tariffs was needed. “The investments that are not being made are costing us the growth of tomorrow, even in sectors that are seemingly not affected,” he said.

Germany’s merchandise trade surplus with the US — $69 billion in 2018 — remains a sore point with the Trump administration as does Japan’s $67.6 billion
US trade surplus last year — with two-thirds of that in the auto sector.