SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines (SIA) has removed two SIA 787-10 Dreamliner planes from service after routine inspections found issues with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN engines, the carrier said in a statement on Tuesday (Apr 2).
“During recent routine inspections of Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN engines on Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 787-10 fleet, premature blade deterioration was found on some engines," SIA said.
"As safety is our top priority, the SIA Group, in consultation with Rolls-Royce, proactively identified other Trent 1000 TEN engines in the Group’s 787 fleet to undergo precautionary inspections."
The airline added that all engine inspections on its 787-10 fleet have since been completed, and a remaining check will be completed on a Scoot 787-9 by Apr 3.
"Pending engine replacements, two SIA 787-10 aircraft have been removed from service," said SIA.
As a result, some flights to destinations served by the 787-10 fleet have been affected.
"SIA is operating other aircraft for these flights to minimise schedule disruption to customers," said the airline.
"However, as capacity may be lower on replacement aircraft, some customers may be affected and they will be contacted accordingly."
SIA declined to comment on the number of travellers affected, saying it is "actively getting in touch with customers" to re-accommodate them on various other flights.
The airline's 787-10 aircraft are currently deployed to 11 destinations - Bangkok, Denpasar, Fukuoka, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Nagoya, New Delhi, Osaka, Perth, Taipei and Tokyo.
"We regret the inconvenience caused and sincerely apologise to customers whose travel plans are affected, and seek their understanding," said SIA.
It added that it is working closely with Rolls-Royce, as well as relevant authorities for additional follow-up actions and precautionary measures that may be required going forward.
SIA first took delivery of the first of its 49 Boeing 787-10 aircraft in March 2018. The aircraft entered commercial service in April 2018, with SIA saying that it was investing S$458 million to introduce new cabin products for the first 20 aircraft.
In a statement on Tuesday, Rolls-Royce said that since the Trent 1000 TEN entered into service, it has communicated to operators that the high-pressure turbine blades in those engines would have a limited life cycle.
"Working with operators, we have been sampling a small population of the Trent 1000 TEN fleet that has flown in more arduous conditions.
"This work has shown that a small number of these engines need to have their blades replaced earlier than scheduled. In anticipation of limited turbine blade life, our engineers have already developed and are testing an enhanced version of this blade," it said.
Rolls-Royce added that it will now work closely with any affected customers to deliver an "accelerated programme" to implement the enhanced blade, and to ensure that it can deliver on their Trent 1000 TEN future commitments.
"We regret any disruption this causes to airline operations," it said.