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Ethiopian, Rolls-Royce sign servicing agreement for new engines

Addis Ababa, July 7, 2023 (FBC) – UK-based global major power and propulsion systems group Rolls-Royce and Africa’s largest carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, have announced that the latter has signed a service agreement with the former for the maintenance of the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines that will power the airline’s four new Airbus A350-1000 widebody airliners.

According to Rolls-Royce plc, the contract was signed at Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace’s head office in Derby, in England, and also formed part of the airline’s celebrations of 50 years of flying to the UK.

The service agreement, branded TotalCare by Rolls-Royce, vests maintenance cost and time-on-wing risk in the manufacturer. It gives operators predictability, operational certainty as well as known service and maintenance costs.

“We value the strong relationship we have built over the years with Rolls-Royce, and as we celebrate 50 years of flights to the UK, we continue to look forward to the implementation of this TotalCare agreement for the latest addition to our fleet with the introduction of the modern A350-1000 aircraft,” affirmed Ethiopian Airlines CEO Mesfin Tasew.

“We have experience of using the Rolls-Royce TotalCare service to ensure Trent 1000 and Trent XWB-84 engine availability and reliability and we are pleased to extend this service to the Trent XWB-97 model, which powers the A350-1000 aircraft,” he added.

“We are delighted to sign this long-term service agreement with Ethiopian Airlines for their Trent XWB-97-powered Airbus A350-1000 aircraft,” highlighted Rolls-Royce chief customer officer Ewen McDonald. “Ethiopian Airlines has led the way in Africa as the first operator of the A350-900 and will be the first to introduce the A350-1000 in service. We look forward to providing a TotalCare service that maximises performance for both the Trent XWB-84 [on the A350-900] and Trent XWB-97.”

Ethiopian Airlines uses the Trent 1000 to power its fleet of ten Boeing 787 Dreamliner widebody airliners. The A350-family and 787-family are the two new-generation airliner families on the market – that is, their airframes are largely made from composite materials (although they are manufactured in very different ways).

It is noted that this significantly reduces weight and so reduces fuel burn. They are also both powered by very efficient modern engines, developed specifically for them; in the case of the 787, the options are the Trent-1000 and GE’s GENx. The Trent XWB exclusively powers the A350-family, and is the most efficient large aircraft engine currently in service.

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