The characteristic titanium wide chord fan blades of the Trent 900 engine

Rolls-Royce to supply Trent 900 engines for Asiana A380s

Rolls-Royce has won a contract to supply engines for six Airbus superjumbos recently ordered by South Korean airline Asiana.

Rolls-Royce did not give financial details for the contract, which also includes a “TotalCare” long-term service agreement.

The Trent 900 made global headlines when one of four such engines on a Qantas A380 blew apart over Batam Island, Indonesia, minutes after take-off from Singapore. An Australian safety report pinpointed a “potential manufacturing defect” in the engines and regulators ordered checks on Trent 900 engines to ensure they were safe.

The checks resulted in gaps on the Airbus production line as engines were swapped to keep other aircraft in service.

Rolls-Royce said last month it was working closely with regulators, Airbus and airlines to identify the cause and achieve a rapid return to normal operations. All affected aircraft, except the damaged plane, are now back in service.

The A380 is powered either by Trent 900 engines from Rolls-Royce, as in the case of Qantas, or GP7200 engines from the Engine Alliance, jointly owned by General Electric and United Technologies unit Pratt & Whitney.

January's order for six A380s triggered a contest between Rolls-Royce and US rivals that was seen as a key test of confidence in the UK-manufactured engine.

Rolls-Royce says it has concluded deals with 10 out of the 15 buyers that have expressed engine preferences for the A380. But its market share is less than half of the engines ordered because the largest buyer, Emirates, opted for US engines.

In January, it announced the completion of an earlier deal to sell Trent 900 engines to British Airways.

Airlines order engines directly from their manufacturers, often after placing orders well after buying the airframes, given the backlog of several years before delivery.

The Asiana aircraft are due to be delivered from 2014.

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