Singapore carrier grounds two Boeing jets over engine problem

Singapore Airlines was the first carrier to operate the Boeing 787-10 the newest and longest Dreamliner last year. Preliminary checks have found premature blade cracking on some of the aircraft's engines made by Rolls-Royce

Singapore Airlines was the first carrier to operate the Boeing 787-10 the newest and longest Dreamliner last year. Preliminary checks have found premature blade cracking on some of the aircraft's engines made by Rolls-Royce

American Airlines Group said it was aware that the resumption of service for its 737 MAX aircraft may be further delayed and said it was working with all customers impacted by any flight cancellations.

"During recent routine inspections of Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN engines on Singapore Airlines' Boeing 787-10 fleet, premature blade deterioration was found on some engines", the carrier said in a statement on Tuesday.

The carrier, in consultation with Rolls, identified other Trent 1000 TEN engines in its 787 fleet to undergo precautionary inspections, Singapore Airlines said in a separate statement. All of these engine inspections on SIA's 787-10 fleet have now been completed, and a remaining check will be completed on a Scoot 787-9 by 3 April.

SIA now deploys 787-10s to 12 destinations, including Bangkok, Denpasar (Bali), Fukuoka, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Nagoya, New Delhi, Osaka, Perth, Taipei and Tokyo (Narita).

It is not the first time Rolls-Royce engine flaws, and in particular, blades deteriorating faster than expected, have caused aircraft groundings.

Rolls-Royce said its engineers were already developing and testing an enhanced version of the turbine blade.

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Air New Zealand was badly hit by problems with earlier model Trent 1000 Package C engines which forced the grounding of up to four planes at a time over the last 16 months, major schedule disruptions and meant the airline had to charter older aircraft to plug gaps.

It said that it expects the number of planes on the ground to reduce progressively in 2019 and for flight restrictions to be lifted on aircraft with engines fitted with the new blades.

SIA is working closely with Rolls-Royce and the authorities for any additional follow-up actions and precautionary measures that may be required going forward, he said.

"While we may have hoped that the 1000 TEN would be more reliable than earlier Trent 1000 engines, it is a derivative engine - as is the Trent 7000 for the A330neo - and we believe all versions of the Trent 1000 are covered by the same EASA airworthiness directives".

These aircraft are configured with 337 seats in two classes, featuring 36 Business Class seats and 301 Economy Class seats. It is more bad news for Boeing following the worldwide grounding of its popular 737 MAX passenger jet.

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