Rolls wins $1.5bn superjumbo deal

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Rolls-Royce stole a march on its US rivals yesterday by becoming the first aero-engine manufacturer to secure an order to power the new Airbus superjumbo, the A3XX.

Rolls-Royce stole a march on its US rivals yesterday by becoming the first aero-engine manufacturer to secure an order to power the new Airbus superjumbo, the A3XX.

The order, worth $1.5bn (£0.88bn) at book prices, is from Singapore Airlines, which has selected Rolls' Trent 900 engine for its fleet of up to 25 A3XXs. Singapore will become the launch operator of the 555-seater when the first of its A3XXs enters service in 2006.

In winning the engine order, Rolls beat off stiff competition from the Engine Alliance - a pairing of the two American manufacturers General Electric and Pratt & Whitney. According to some reports, however, Rolls offered Singapore a discount of more than 90 per cent to secure the business.

Singapore's chief executive, Dr Cheong Choong Kong, said: "Having put all the relevant factors in the melting pot we decided Rolls-Royce had the edge."

John Cheffins, president of Rolls' civil aerospace division, said the Singapore order was particularly significant since the Trent 900 would be the sole engine used in initial A3XX production and the lead engine for the joint certification programme. The order will help secure thousands of jobs at Rolls' civil engine facilities in Derby. A spokesman said it was an understatement to say Rolls was pleased to have won the order. Airbus has 32 firm orders for the A3XX from four customers: Air France, Emirates, Singapore and ILFC, the US leasing company . Qantas is expected to order up to 18 of the aircraft.

Comments