Rolls-Royce today announced a $2.6 billion order for its Trent 1000 engines and associated services from Virgin Atlantic. The company also revealed that it is forming an environmental partnership with the airline to cut carbon emissions.
The Trent 1000 is the launch engine for all versions of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which enters service in 2009. Today’s order, which includes a full-life TotalCare® services agreement, is for Trent 1000s to power up to 43 Boeing 787s and consists of 15 firm aircraft plus eight options and a further 20 purchase rights. Virgin Atlantic will take delivery of its first Trent-powered 787 in 2011.
The Trent-powered Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will burn almost 30 per cent less fuel than previous generation airliners, resulting in an equivalent reduction in carbon emissions per passenger. The environmental initiative between Rolls-Royce and Virgin Atlantic will aim to identify further opportunities to reduce aircraft fuel burn through enhanced engine performance. Actions will be managed within the framework of the TotalCare agreement, under which Rolls-Royce assumes full responsibility for monitoring and maintaining the Trent 1000 fleet.
Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic, commented: “Virgin Atlantic has chosen the cleanest possible engines for its more fuel-efficient future with the 787 Dreamliner. Rolls-Royce engines will help us cut emissions per flight by nearly 30 per cent and become the most sustainable airline in the world. Our new environmental partnership will also bring major benefits to the aviation industry, enabling us to work together on researching and developing the most efficient engines in the sky, and continuously improving the fuel burn of our fleet of aircraft.”
James M. Guyette, President & CEO, Rolls-Royce North America, added: “This is a vote of confidence in the Trent family by Virgin Atlantic. We share a common agenda to address environmental issues, and the new environmental partnership will help speed up research and development into reducing carbon emissions.”
Virgin Atlantic has a strong, established relationship with Rolls-Royce and currently operates 19 Airbus A340-600s, which are powered exclusively by the Trent 500.