AirAsia X has selected Rolls Royce to power 65 Airbus aircraft in a deal worth $6.2 billion making it the largest order for the Trent engines since it was launched earlier in the year. It followed shortly after Airbus themselves announced a $15.2 billion deal with AirAsia X for 55 A330neo aircraft. This is also the largest deal struck for that family of jets. The A330neo replaces Airbus’ A330ceo jet and uses Roll Royce’s Trent 7000 engines.
The Trent 7000 is the seventh generation Trent family of large engines, and is the exclusive engine for the Airbus A330neo. The Trent 7000 builds on the unrivalled reliability record of the Trent 1000, the world's most efficient engine technology utilised by the Trent XWB, and the unsurpassed Trent 700 experience and market-leading position on the A330.
Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, co-founder and director of AirAsia X, said: "We are making a significant fleet expansion with A330ceo and A330neo aircraft and it is great to have Rolls-Royce on board for both.
"The Trent 700 and A330ceo remains a great combination and will give us real continuity as we move forward to the A330neo and Trent 7000."
Eric Schulz, president of civil large engines at Rolls-Royce, added: "This is a significant decision from a customer that continues to grow and look to the future. Whichever type of A330 operators want to select, the Trent is the natural choice for the best economics."
2014 has been a turbulent year for Rolls Royce with defence cuts hitting the company hard resulting in share prices dropping by a quarter. However with this new deal with AirAsia X and the $5 billion contract for Delta secured again with Airbus earlier in the month, this could signal a change in fortunes for the engine manufacturers.
With Rolls Royce’s success becoming increasingly entwined with that of Airbus’, next year will prove very interesting for both organisations. For now though, over $11 billion hitting Rolls Royce’s order book is welcome news indeed and there will no doubt be a search for fresh talent in the New Year.