Rotherham shares in huge Rolls order

A Rolls-Royce factory in Rotherham will play a key part in a £693m order from Virgin Atlantic, helping to safeguard 160 jobs.
Rolls-Royce XWBRolls-Royce XWB
Rolls-Royce XWB

The Advanced Blade Casting Facility will make turbine blades for Trent XWB engines. The deal, announced at Farnborough Air Show, includes long term services for 12 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.

It is the second big order to benefit the £110m factory on the Advanced Manufacturing Park, which opened in March last year.

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In April, Rolls clinched an £800m order for Trent 7000 engines from Indonesian airline Garuda.

Turbine blades operate in the hottest part of a jet engine. They are made from a super alloy comprised of nickel and small quantities of exotic metals such as rhenium.

A Rolls-Royce spokesman said: “This is great news as the stronger the order book, the better that is for the company.”

Assembled in Derby, UK, the Trent XWB is the fastest-selling wide-body engine with more than 1,600 sold.

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Almost half of the value consists of parts made in the UK by Rolls-Royce and its suppliers.

Craig Kreeger, chief executive, Virgin Atlantic, said: “The size of this order demonstrates our absolute focus on investing in the future for our customers and our people, and confirms the strength of our business. The A350-1000 plays a pivotal role in our fleet programme, and with the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine, it is helping to create one of the youngest, cleanest, greenest fleets in the sky.

“We’re looking forward to introducing this aircraft to our customers, as its impressive economics, fuel performance, and quiet flying offer an irresistible proposition.”

Eric Schulz, Rolls-Royce, president - civil aerospace, said: “Virgin Atlantic is a great customer which has shown continued commitment to our Trent engine family.”

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I welcome the news of Virgin Atlantic’s investment. As well as being good news for passengers, it’s great news for jobs in the UK.”