Airline operators to face route planning restrictions due to ETOPS downgrade for the 787-9


New York - Rolls-Royce increases the inspection frequency of Trent 1000 "Package C" engines to a monthly interval due to the recent problems reported by the clients. Operators also need to be prepared for route planning restrictions.

We work closely with Boeing and the airlines concerned to minimize disruption whenever possible,
said Rolls-Royce boss Warren East as he announced on April 13 the next setback in the already flawed program.

Impairments, however, can hardly be avoided. According to the Bloomberg news agency, the North American aviation authority FAA and its European counterpart EASA are planning an ETOPS downgrade from 330 to 140 minutes for the 787-9s with affected engines.

In the case of an engine failure, the nearest suitable alternate airport must be more accessible than before. Especially on trans-pacific routes, the 140-minute rule would be a significant limitation.

ETOPS stands for Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards, a rule which authorizes twin-engine aircraft to fly routes that are more than 60 minutes flying time away from the nearest airport suitable for emergency landing.

ETOPS Flight Plan

No American airline operates Boeing 787s with affected engines,
the FAA said.

We work closely with EASA and take appropriate action.

Boeing introduced the Trent 1000 C four years ago on the 787-9. The first problems with Rolls-Royce's Dreamliner engines appeared two years ago in Japanese operator ANA's operations. Since then, several operators across the globe reported engine malfunctions.

Due to corrosion and cracks in the blades of the medium-pressure turbine, the Trent 1000 is already being monitored by EASA and FAA.

After a series of engine failures, FAA and EASA issued Emergency Airworthiness Directives at the end of 2017. Since then, engines with the increased risk of failure may no longer be used in pairs on the same aircraft.

The British Engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce announced in March that the problems would cost the company around 340 million pounds in 2018 and another 240 million pounds in 2019.

Rolls-Royce will probably need to correct these numbers ​​upwards.