Rolls-Royce Responds to Emirates Criticism and Enhances Durability of Trent XWB-97 Jet Engines

Rolls-Royce, a British company, announced on Tuesday that it was implementing measures to enhance the durability of its Trent XWB-97 jet engines. However, it refuted a statement made by one of the industry's most influential leaders, suggesting that the Airbus A350-1000 engine was defective.


Ewen McDonald, Chief Customer Officer of the company, acknowledged that the largest engine faced challenges in areas with harsh climates such as Dubai, where Emirates had held off ordering the A350-1000. "The engine performs well in what we call benign operations... But in sandy, hot conditions, it is challenged, as are all modern engines because of the high temperatures. This is a common issue across the industry," he said in an interview.

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Emirates President Tim Clark previously expressed concerns about the Trent 97-XWB engine's durability and Rolls-Royce's maintenance prices, a day after ordering 90 Boeing 777X with competing engines from GE Aerospace. But the Gulf carrier, later, canceled its order of A350-1000 order from the European manufacturer Airbus. 

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Clark told reporters that the aircraft's engine was only capable of spending a quarter of the time "on the wing" between service visits, which was lower than expected levels, and he described this as "defective" performance. While the engine manufacturer usually bears direct excess maintenance expenses due to increased shop visits under long-term service contracts, this increased downtime is disturbing and costly for airlines. The industry's most controversial issue is the ability of some engines to handle the most challenging environments without extra maintenance, with U.S. supplier Pratt & Whitney being criticized for this and other industrial snags.

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