Aerospace boost for Midlands as Rolls-Royce lands Chinese deal
The Midlands aerospace sector has been given a boost after Rolls-Royce unveiled an order worth £1.1 billion from the fast-growing Chinese market.
The Derby-based manufacturing giant, which has seen its shares come under pressure following the mid-air failure of one of its Trent 900 engines, has won an order from Air China for engines to supply and service 20 engines.
The deal to power ten Airbus A350s and ten A330s comes a fortnight after an order worth £750 million from China Eastern Airlines.
Rolls is well-established in China, where it has a 56% share of the market for large civil aerospace engines.
The deal provides a timely boost to the firm’s network of suppliers – many of which are based in the West Midlands.
Since the start of July, Rolls has won more than £2.8 billion in orders from customers worldwide for the Trent 700, confirming its position as the market leader on the A330. Around 1,000 are now in service or on firm order.
The Trent XWB, which will power Air China’s Airbus A350 planes, is the fastest selling Trent engine ever with more than 1,000 sales since 2007.
The Chinese deal comes as Rolls looks to allay safety fears about its Trent 900 engine after one exploded during a Qantas flight, forcing the Australian carrier to ground its fleet of A380 superjumbos.
Rolls has isolated the cause of the failure to a specific component in the turbine of the Trent 900 engine, which sparked an oil fire and led to the release of another part - a turbine disc.