The world’s biggest operator of B787 Dreamliner jets, All Nippon Airways, cancelled nine domestic flights on Friday and will cancel possibly 300 over the next few weeks.
The problem lies with the Rolls-Royce engines on the plane.
The airline’s fleet of 50 B787s are all powered by Rolls-Royce engines, which power about 38% of all the B787s in service worldwide, according to the Seattle Times. The rest use General Electricengines, which have had their own problems recently.
While Britain’s Guardian characterised the All Nippon B787 move as “another setback for the troubled aircraft”, the setback is caused by damage to turbine blades in the aircraft’s Roll-Royce Trent 1000 engines. So it’s a Rolls-Royce issue rather than a Boeing issue, but the distinction is lost on most passengers, who just want to fly reliably and safely.
Air New Zealand’s B787-9 Dreamliner uses Roll-Royce Trent 1000 engines. Jetstar and Qantas use General Electric engines, but those also have had recent problems. Jetstar is reportedly working on repairs to several General Electric engines in its B787 Dreamliner fleet to fix a known engine problem that can trigger a loss of oil pressure and a mid-flight engine shutdown – the same problem that forced one of Jetstar’s Dreamliners to divert to the Pacific island of Guam during a flight from Japan to the Gold Coast a couple of weeks ago. See: Jetstar diverts Dreamliner to Guam – pax still there
With the Roll-Royce engine problem, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says the issue stems from corrosion cracking of turbine blades. The US regulator said it had “reviewed the problem and determined it is not a safety concern”.
Written by Peter Needham