AERO engine giant Rolls-Royce yesterday hailed a £6.1 billion deal – the biggest in its history – with Dubai-based airline Emirates as a major boost for factories across the UK including its Inchinnan site in Renfrewshire.
Under the deal, Rolls will provide Trent 900 engines which will power 50 Airbus A380 superjumbos that will enter service from 2016.
The order will secure jobs across the British group’s supply chain which stretches from Bristol in south-west England to Scotland. It comes just weeks after the firm announced job cuts, including some 220 in Scotland, as part of a global restructuring.
Rolls-Royce chief executive John Rishton said: “We are delighted that Emirates has again placed its trust in our technology, with the biggest order in our history.”
Announcing the deal in London, Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said: “This announcement is significant not only because it cements the partnership between Emirates and Rolls-Royce, but also because of the significant economic impact that this will have on aviation manufacturing in the UK and Europe.”
Emirates added that the deal further supported trade ties between the UK and the United Arab Emirates.
The £6.1bn figure includes a long-term after-care package. As well as Inchinnan, Rolls-Royce sites involved in production of the Trent 900 engine include Ansty in Warwickshire, Barnoldswick in Lancashire, Bristol, Derby, Hucknall in Nottinghamshire and Sunderland.
The Trent 900 powered the first A380 to go into commercial service in 2007 with Singapore Airlines, and Rolls has had a long association with Emirates which has 60 superjumbos in its fleet and 80 on order.
The Trent 900 is now used by eight operators on more than 70 aircraft, having logged more than four million in-service flight hours.
Emirates operates 16 daily flights from the UK with nine of these using A380s whose wings are made in the UK.
Last month Rolls announced plans to cut almost 220 jobs from two Scottish plants over the next two years. The engineering giant said 187 posts would be lost from its Inchinnan plant and a further 31 jobs from its facility in East Kilbride.
It currently employs about 700 people at its Inchinnan plant and about 630 at East Kilbride.
In November, Rolls warned it planned to shed 2,600 jobs worldwide over a period of 18 months out of its 54,000 strong workforce.
Emirates, owned by the government of Dubia, has a fleet of more than 230 aircraft, and flies to more than 140 destinations in more than 80 countries around the world.
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