An Airworthiness Directive published by the FAA on Tuesday restricts the operations of some Boeing 787s with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, noting that in the event of an engine failure, the time the aircraft can sustain flight on a single engine would be reduced. Due to a known problem with the engine’s compressor and turbine blades and seals, the AD requires operators to amend their aircraft flight manuals to limit extended single-engine operations to within 140 minutes of an airport where they could land in an emergency, down from 330 minutes. The rule has a significant impact on the routing of flights across the Atlantic. More than 380 aircraft in the worldwide fleet are affected by the problem, but only 14 are based in the U.S. Some of those already are grounded, waiting for replacement engines.
“We expect intense activity to inspect engines and carry out the maintenance required to continue for the rest of this year,” a Rolls-Royce spokesperson told The Seattle Times. “We recognize that this will result in additional disruption for airlines, which we sincerely regret.” Among the airlines most heavily affected are All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Air New Zealand, Norwegian Air and Virgin Atlantic. The AD is effective immediately.