THAI Grounds Dreamliners Due to Rolls Royce Engine Issues

6th Jul 2017

Thailand’s flag carrier Thai Airways International (THAI) was forced to ground its fleet of six Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft due to a problem they have with Rolls Royce-made jet engines. The problem apparently has to do with the Trent-1000 turbine blades, which the airline says can affect safety.

At the moment four of six Dreamliners are sitting at the Suvarnabhumi Airport and two are back in service. THAI is sending the problem engines for repair to its Singapore facilities.

THAI President Usanee Sangsingkeo said on Wednesday the problem should be resolved starting next month and Dreamliners return to normal operations in September. She said the engine manufacturer was unable to fix the problem in time due to a sheer number of engines that now required a service and the difficulty in getting replacement parts for them.

The also revealed its intention to claim financial compensation from Rolls Royce for the damage caused by the issues.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Rolls Royce said:

We are working closely with Thai Airways to restore all their aircraft to full operation as soon as possible.

The problem is apparently with the coating on blades located in the Trent-1000 intermediate pressure area. This issue was first noticed on some passenger planes operated by the Japanese All Nippon Airways (ANA).

The Thailand carrier is not the only one dealing with Trent-1000 issues. At the moment, more than 160 Dreamliners are fitted with this type of engine and the British engine maker said earlier that it would take around three years to replace the turbine blades on all Trent-1000-powered Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Due to the inability to use its Dreamliner fleet, THAI had to transfer some other models to affected routes. Of course, as is expected of such things, this shuffle didn’t go quite as smoothly and passengers are noticing it.

A senior executive for the airline said:

The grounding has really cost us a fortune, our passengers are unhappy and our reputation has been damaged.

The Dreamliner grounding affects THAI flights to Dubai, Australia, Japan and neighboring countries the most.

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