FRANKFURT—Rolls-Royce is trying to find both engine maintenance capacity and repair capability, in advance of models such as the Trent 1000 and XWB entering their first shop refurbishment visits in a couple years, says Scott Holland, Rolls-Royce vice president marketing-Europe.
“We are in a period of doubling our in-service widebody engine fleet in 10 years from around 4,000 at the end of 2018 to around 8,000 in 2028,” he says.
“We definitely need capacity, but also need the right capabilities,” he adds. The challenge is that there are few companies that “do it and do it well,” he says, speaking at Aviation Week’s ap&m Summit.
In the past, Rolls-Royce tended to develop joint venture (JV) partners—such as Hong Kong Aero Engine Services Ltd (HAESL) and Singapore Aero Engine Services Ltd (SAESL)—to add capacity and capability, but since late 2015 it has tried to build a more competitive business model. That includes reaching out to independents such as StandardAero and Delta TechOps to develop a “growing service network with a healthy mix of JVs, customer owned and independent shops,” says Holland.
Rolls is taking a two-prong approach to develop repairs for the Trent 1000 and XWB. In some cases, Rolls will develop the repair and put out bids to find companies to perform the repairs. In other cases, it will seek companies to both develop and perform the repair, such as MTU. Holland cites the high-pressure turbine nozzle guide and hot-section components as examples of parts probably needing repairs at the first shop visit. “We want to develop repairs for those to get ahead of the game,” he says.
Trent 1000 and XWBs will generate about $9.1 billion between 2020-2025, according to Aviation Week’s 2019 Commercial Fleet and MRO forecast.