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Emirates Says Rolls-Royce A380 Engines Not Up to Agreed Standard

Emirates, the world’s biggest long-haul airline, said it’s unhappy with performance shortfalls afflicting Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc (IW 1000/192) engines ordered to power a batch of 50 Airbus Group SE A380 superjumbos.

Feedback on the Trent 900 powerplants indicates “technical issues” that need to be resolved before the first plane is delivered to Emirates next month, Tim Clark, the Dubai-carrier’s president, said Friday in Frankfurt.

“We have a new engine coming on and there are some issues with that at the moment,” Clark said at a media briefing. “We want the engines as promised in the contract.”

Emirates last year ordered 217 Trent 900s -- sufficient to power the 50 four-engine A380s, plus spares -- after previously purchasing GP7000 powerplants from an alliance of General Electric Co. and Pratt & Whitney for its first 90 superjumbos. The deal with Rolls included unspecified “quality improvements.”

Clark said Emirates will “hopefully” still take the first Rolls-Royce powered plane on Dec. 2 as planned, adding that talks are underway with the manufacturer on resolving the performance issue and whether it should compensate the airline.

Rolls said in an email that it is “working with Emirates and Airbus to meet the planned entry into service of the Trent-powered A380 within the Emirates fleet.” While the London-based company already has a greater spread of customers for its superjumbo engine than the GE-Pratt model, it had previously been excluded from the world’s largest double-decker fleet.

By Andrea Rothman and Benjamin Katz

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