Rolls-Royce boss says cost of Trent 1000 engine issues is ‘eye-watering’

Problems with Rolls-Royce’s Trent 1000 engines are costing an “eye-watering” amount of money, the firm’s boss has admitted.

Chief executive Warren East said tackling the issues will cost the engineering giant around half a billion pounds this year.

Technical difficulties with the Trent 1000s discovered in 2018 grounded planes operated by airlines such as British Airways and Norwegian.

The engines are used to power Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

One of the engines failed over Italy in August, raining down metal on a local town minutes after a Norwegian flight had taken off.

Mr East told an Aviation Club event in central London that “we will address these issues”.

He said: “It’s an excellent engine.

“It has 99.9% dispatch reliability, but it does have some durability issues, which have caused serious disruption for about 20 or so of our major customers around the world.

“The cost of managing this issue, minimising the disruption, compensating the customers for the extraordinary disruption they have endured, is costing a huge amount of money, an eye-watering £500 million or so this year.

“That does tend to exacerbate the question marks around the financial performance of our business.”

He added: “Half of my life is dominated by these sorts of questions.”

Earlier this month, Rolls-Royce revealed it expects profits for the full year to be at the lower end of forecasts after a rise in costs relating to faulty blades on the Trent engines.

The FTSE 100 company also pushed back its predicted final repair date for the engines to 2021 as it continues testing on the blades.

The Trent engine problems are expected to have resulted in £2.4 billion in costs from 2017 to 2023, according to Rolls-Royce.

It said the major costs relate to “customer disruption and remediation shop visits” and provisions against possible losses on future contracts.