Japanese airline ANA to replace 100 Rolls engines on 787s

Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:51pm EDT
 
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By Alwyn Scott

SEATTLE (Reuters) - ANA Holdings Inc (9202.T: Quote), Japan's largest airline, said on Wednesday it will replace all 100 Rolls-Royce engines on its fleet of Boeing (BA.N: Quote) 787 Dreamliners following three engine failures this year caused by corrosion and cracking of turbine blades.

In response to questions from Reuters, ANA, the world's largest 787 operator, said all 50 of its 787s will receive engines fitted with new blades, a process that could take up to three years.

ANA has five engines that currently need repairs, "but we will replace all the 100 engines for enhanced safety measures," the company said, adding that it had already repaired three engines.​

A Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC (RR.L: Quote) spokesman said the engine maker would swap out existing blades for new ones on ANA's planes in the short term. Rolls has started production of a new blade design that will be ready by year end, he said.

"We are working very closely with ANA," Rolls spokesman Richard Wray said in an email.

The new blade will be incorporated next year into engines going onto new 787s, Wray said, adding that other airlines are managing the issue with "ongoing maintenance."

Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Officer Warren East said on Tuesday that ANA's problem was a "manageable issue." He added that ANA's "intensive" use of the engines had caused the blades to wear more quickly than usual.

ANA said the first engine failure happened on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo in February. A second flight in March and a third in August had similar problems.   Continued...

 
A Rolls-Royce engine is seen on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner owned by ANA Holdings Inc. in Everett, Washington, U.S. August 17, 2016. REUTERS/Alwyn Scott