Rolls-Royce’s plan to extend maintenance provision has progressed with talks to incorporate Thai Airways into its CareNetwork.
Thailand’s flag carrier operates 50 Rolls-Royce-powered widebodies and is looking to build on its existing MRO capabilities and become an Authorised Maintenance Centre (AMC) for the OEM.
The AMC could offer maintenance services to other airlines in the region and expand upon the capacity already offered by Rolls-Royce’s joint venture facility with Singapore Airlines in Singapore.
That site is one of three dealing with fallout from problems with Trent 1000 Package C engines, although at the end of May Rolls-Royce stated it was working to increase its maintenance capacity.
“We are also working with other members of our MRO Authorised Maintenance Centre network to increase flexibility,” it stated.
Thai Airways operates nine Trent 1000-powered Boeing 787-8s and two 787-9s. It is uncertain whether the airline has been affected by recent airworthiness directives, although in 2017 it had to ground part of its 787-8 fleet after turbine blade problems forced it to send some Trent 1000 engines to Singapore for maintenance
Rolls-Royce hopes a Thai Airways AMC could be open for business in 2019.
“THAI has the capability to expand its engine maintenance services for Rolls-Royce Trent engines, which will meet the needs of the regional market, making sufficient use of the maintenance facilities and further develop a joint business venture together,” says Usanee Sangsingkeo, acting president of Thai Airways.
Earlier this year the two parties agreed a deal to use Thai Airways’ engine testing facilities at Don Mueang Airport to support the Trent XWB engine programme.