Engine recalls carry potential damage for Rolls Royce

A technician checks the Rolls Royce engine.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The problem facing the Airbus A380 super jumbo jet may be worse than anyone thought. Now the Australian airline Qantas says as many as 40 engines in planes around the world may have to be replaced. Two weeks ago, one of the engine's on an A380 blewout in midair and forced an emergency landing.

Marketplace's Stephen Beard is with us live from London with the latest. Hi Stephen.

STEPHEN BEARD: Hello Steve.

CHIOTAKIS: How big a problem is this for Airbus?

BEARD: This is a more of a set back for the engine maker Rolls Royce, which will surely have to pick up much of the tab for this. Quantas had already grounded its six super jumbos. If 40 engines are recalled we could be talking about another 10 aircraft belonging to Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa grounded. That's 16 of these huge planes and a very big tab, says David Leermount, who's an editor at Flight International Magazine.

DAVID LEERMOUNT: That's an awful lot of carrying capacity and an awful lot of money that isn't being earned -- and a lot of passengers that will have to be put somewhere else.

CHIOTAKIS: But Rolls Royce says it has identified where the engine's flaw is, will that solve the problem?

STEPHEN BEARD: Eventually it will fix that problem. Eventually the company will fix the reputational damage too. But that damage is pretty serious. Rolls Royce of course is a name synonymous with excellence. By the way, this is not the same as the car company. That was hived off years ago and is now owned by BMW, but the Rolls Royce name for aero engines has certainly suffered. Right now airlines that are ordering the super jumbo have a choice of engines. They can go for the Rolls Royce Power Plant or that can have one made by GE and Pratt and Whitney. So Rolls are very likely to loose a fair amount of business over this.

CHIOTAKIS: Marketplace's Stephen Beard with us from London. Stephen, thanks.

STEPHEN BEARD: OK Steve.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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