British Airways Rob Finlayson-1.jpg Rob Finlayson

British Airways To Lease Air Belgium A340s As 787 Trent Engines Are Inspected

Airline turns to leased-in help as issues with the Rolls-Royce engines continue.

Continuing problems with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines on its fleet of Boeing 787s has forced British Airways (BA) to contract leased-in help to maintain its schedules.

The UK carrier plans to use an Air Belgium Airbus A340-300 on its daily London Heathrow-Abu Dhabi service from Sept. 15 to Oct. 4. BA has already used the Belgian startup for a small number of flights from London to Cairo earlier this month.

BA’s 787 fleet is undergoing precautionary inspections in light of durability problems in the compressor of the Trent 1000 Package C engines. These have required additional inspections, which has forced airlines to ground 787s using this model of engine while the checks take place.

“We’re doing everything we can to make sure our customers travel as planned, in light of continuing issues with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, which are affecting many airlines around the world,” BA said in a statement to ATW.

“In order to fly as many customers as possible on their original dates of travel, we have leased an aircraft from Air Belgium. We are in touch with customers who are affected to offer them a range of options if they don't wish to continue with their booking.”

Air Belgium began flying earlier this year and has a fleet of four A340-300s.

In recent months, BA has leased aircraft from fellow oneworld carrier Qatar Airways to help fill its shortfall in aircraft.  However, given the 15-month diplomatic stand-off between Qatar and the UAE (as well as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt), Qatari aircraft would not have been able to operate the service to Abu Dhabi, which is the federal capital of the UAE.

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