Rolls-Royce has beaten off stiff opposition from US rival General Electric to supply up to 16 jet engines for British Airways in a deal potentially worth more than #162.2 million.
The Trent 800s will be built at the firm’s base in Derby and power at least four of BA’s new Boeing 777-200 aircraft after the airline rejected General Electric's GE90 versions.
BA said Rolls-Royce offered a cheaper price and better maintenance support. Commercial director Robert Boyle said: "This was a closely fought competition but in terms of cost and ongoing maintenance support, Rolls-Royce came out in front."
The success is also a boost for Rolls-Royce ahead of BA’s imminent decision over the supplier of engines in a major overhaul of its aging long-term fleet. The company is also bidding against GE and the Engineering Alliance, a joint venture between GE and fellow US firm Pratt & Whitney, for the deal.
British Airways is considering bids from rivals Boeing and Airbus to provide 34 new long haul planes. The airline has started a major programme of fleet renewal and expansion, with 20 of its older 747's and 14 of its Boeing 767's due to be replaced.
Rolls-Royce yesterday also said it had extended its long-term maintenance of the engines for BA under a deal first struck between the companies seven years ago.
The company will deliver the first eight Trent 800 engines to BA in 2009. The airline also has options on a further eight to power another four Boeing 777-200 planes, to be delivered by 2010.
BA already operates 16 Boeing 777s powered by the Trent 895 engine.
Mike Terrett, Rolls-Royce’s civil aerospace president, said: "The Trent's selection reflects British Airways' positive view of the engine's in-service performance, while the extension of the TotalCare contract is an endorsement of the maintenance agreements which have been in place for the last seven years."
Rolls-Royce said the Trent 800 engine beats levels of emissions required by latest international environmental legislation by up to 80 per cent. The powerplant has a 43 per cent market share where it competes on the 777.
Despite suffering from raw material price inflation and a weak US dollar, Rolls-Royce posted underlying pretax profits of #705 million last year.
The firm also boasted a record order book of #26.1 billion, and overall sales of #7.16 billion.
The company is developing new engines for both the troubled Airbus A380 superjumbo and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The A380 is still well behind schedule after wiring problems.
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