Virgin Atlantic Completes Boeing 787 Trent 1000 Engine Changes

Virgin Atlantic has finished changing engines on its Boeing 787 fleet. Airlines around the world have had portions…

Virgin Atlantic Completes Boeing 787 Trent 1000 Engine Changes

Virgin Atlantic has finished changing engines on its Boeing 787 fleet. Airlines around the world have had portions of their 787 fleets grounded while they work to replace Trent 1000 engines.

Virgin’s last Trent 1000 engine change has now been completed. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Virgin Atlantic’s 17 Boeing 787 aircraft are all operational again, as the airline recently completed its last engine change. Problems in the Trent 1000 supply chain have meant that the airline has had grounded aircraft for the past two and a half years. The issue even led to the airline’s Airbus A340 fleet getting a delayed retirement. Although, the current situation means that the entire A340 fleet has now been retired.

133 engine changes

The news that Virgin has completed its engine changes was broken by the airline’s Vice President of Engineering & Maintenance, Phil Wardlaw, on LinkedIn. It was then spotted by Head For Points, who shared the story.

The first Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 was grounded as a result of Trent 1000 supply chain issues in October of 2017. Getting the full fleet back into service was no small task for the Virgin Atlantic maintenance team, however.

Over the past two and a half years, the British carrier has completed a staggering 113 engine changes across the 17 aircraft 787 fleet. Each engine has been replaced three times on average.

Virgin Atlantic, Trent 1000, Boeing 787
No Virgin Boeing 787s are still grounded as a result of the Trent engine crisis. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The most recent Boeing 787 to return to the skies, G-VOOH, completed a test flight out of Heathrow Airport on May 16th. At the time of writing, it was operating the return leg of a trip to Shanghai to collect PPE for the British NHS.

What about the other airlines’ 787 aircraft?

Wardlaw didn’t break down, which other airlines have aircraft that are still grounded. However, he did mention that 10 of the 17 Trent 1000 engined 787 operators still had grounded aircraft.

In total, 24 aircraft are still grounded because of the Trent 1000 issues. Speaking to Simple Flying, a Rolls Royce spokesperson said:

I am happy to say we are on schedule to reach single digit AOGs by the end of Q2.

British Airways, Boeing 787-10, Delivery
It seems as though one British Airways Boeing 787 is still grounded. Photo: Nick Morrish/British Airways

It seems as though at least one of the aircraft still affected is British Airways’ 787-9 registered as G-ZBKN. This aircraft last flew on September 3rd, long before the current situation unfolded. However, due to the current situation, British Airways will no longer need to wet-lease aircraft to stand in for the lost capacity.

About the Trent 1000

Issues necessitating engine replacements originally arose as a process called sulfidation. Also, high-pressure turbine blades began to break down faster than Rolls Royce had initially anticipated. In January, EASA issued a de-pairing order, meaning that older engines should be paired with younger engines. This was enacted to reduce the chance of a dual-engine failure.

With the number of grounded aircraft set to fall to single-digits within the next month and a third, it looks as though Rolls Royce is finally reaching the end game of the Trent 1000 crisis.

When do you think the last Boeing 787 engine change will be completed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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India’s Aviation Minister Gives The Okay For Domestic Flights

India’s aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri has announced today that domestic flights will resume in India sooner than…

India’s Aviation Minister Gives The Okay For Domestic Flights

India’s aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri has announced today that domestic flights will resume in India sooner than expected. Previously slated to remain grounded until May 31st, flights will now be allowed to begin on Monday, May 25th. Airlines await further guidance on operational procedures from the Indian government.

Great news for India as domestic flights will resume on Monday. Photo: Getty Images

Domestic flights begin from Monday

India’s aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri has taken to Twitter today to announce the resumption of domestic flights across the nation. He noted that the flights would begin in what he calls a “calibrated manner” from next Monday, May 25th.

This will make it two months to the day since domestic flights ceased, with all aviation barring repatriation and cargo flights grounded on March 25th. This will come as a huge positive for Indian airlines, all of whom have been struggling under the weight of their grounded fleets and furloughed staff.

Singh Puri stated that airports and airlines would be informed prior to Monday about the resumption of flights, and that the ministry would issue standard operating procedures (SOPs). It was previously thought that flights would , but it appears certain relaxations are being allowed early.

Although there is no word yet on international flights, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

Airlines will be breathing a sigh of relief. Photo: IndiGo

Which flights will start first?

Previously, it was thought domestic Indian flights would first begin to areas given the ‘green zone’ allocation, signaling a low level of coronavirus infections. However, with many of the nation’s major centers, including Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, still classified as ‘red zones,’ the practicality of following this procedure was questioned by airlines.

It is thought that now a green light from some state governments will allow flights to be operated, even from red zone areas. However, not all state governments are in support of the resumption of flights so soon.

Air India 747 Getty
Not all states are comfortable with the resumption. Photo: Getty Images

West Bengal, in particular, had previously raised concerns around the resumption of flight operations, citing problems with allowing people from highly impacted COVID-19 areas to enter their borders. Other states, too, have voiced similar worries, but Puri has said it was not up to individual states to decide on the move.

Puri further said that it might take two to three days before Indian airlines are able to open for bookings. However, with today’s announcement, we could see tickets for sale on these flights before the end of the week.

What about the passenger experience?

While the full guidelines are yet to be issued by the ministry, passengers can expect both airlines and airports to be on high alert to control the spread of the virus. The Economic Times of India speculates that measures could involve thermal scanning of passengers, restrictions on checked baggage, earlier check-in times, and social distancing at the airport. An insider told the publication,

“A lot of points are being discussed and there are inputs being given by all stakeholders, including airport operators and security agencies. The aviation ministry in consultation with the health ministry will come up a set of guidelines soon. We are very clear that we want to entirely discourage cabin baggage and advice passengers to carry just one luggage item. More the luggage, the higher are the chances of contamination.”

India covid airlines
PPE, including masks or perhaps even shields, is likely to be compulsory. Photo: Getty Images

The Economic Times further says that passengers will be required to arrive more than two hours before departure and that Delhi airport already has a system set up for UV disinfection of baggage. Along with Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad airports, Delhi is setting up thermal screening counters, both at departure and arrival gates.

Undoubtedly there will be enhanced disinfection of aircraft and likely onboard measures such as mandatory mask-wearing or even face shields. At this stage, nothing is guaranteed, but airlines will be able to advise passengers further once the ministry guidance is issued.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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