On Friday, Rolls-Royce announced it had signed a TotalCare service agreement with Vietnamese airline Vietjet. The deal follows a Memorandum of Understanding the pair signed last year to cover Trent 700 engines.
The Rolls-Royce TotalCare package is for the Trent 700 engines on ten Airbus A330ceo aircraft that Vietjet intends to operate. Vietjet received its second A330-300 in March, with both A330s busy on routes to Seoul, South Korea, from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The two A330s are the only widebodies in Vietjet’s fleet and are also used on the domestic route between Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) and Ho Chi Minh International Airport (SGN).
Rolls-Royce TotalCare will smooth the way into widebodies for Vietjet
Vietjet’s incoming A330s are the airline’s first widebodies and will complement the narrowbody fleet of A320ceos, A321ceos, and A321neos. Photo: VietJet.
The TotalCare package gives airlines operational certainty because it covers engine off-wing repair and overhaul services while transferring the cost risk back to Rolls-Royce. In essence, it is similar to a power-by-the-hour (PBH) service where the airline will pay a set fee for the time the engines are in use, with engine maintenance looked after by Rolls-Royce. Vietjet will also benefit from Rolls-Royce’s in-depth knowledge of the Trent 700 engine and its advanced engine health monitoring program. Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace chief customer officer Ewen McDonald said:
“We are delighted to execute this service agreement with Vietjet as the airline begins operating widebody aircraft and expands its network into long-haul operations. We look forward to supporting their Trent 700 fleet for many years.”
The Trent 700 has a 99.9% dispatch rate and the longest time on-wing of any A330 engine option. The engine has accumulated more than 65 million flying hours since its introduction in 1995 and is one of three A330 engine options, along with the General Electric CF6 or the Pratt & Whitney PW4000. The A330neo is powered by the successor to the 700, the Trent 7000.
Vietjet has plans for a much bigger narrowbody fleet
Vietjet is operating around 19 Airbus A321neos and has another 119 on order. Photo: Airbus
This agreement marks the start of the relationship between Vietjet and Rolls-Royce, and with the airline planning on operating 10 A330ceos, it will be important for both. Vietjet has an all-Airbus narrowbody fleet of 75 aircraft, comprising 18 320-200s, 38 A321-200s and 19 A321neos. According to ch-aviation.com data, it has 320 aircraft on order, including Airbus A321neos and A321XLRs, and Boeing B737 MAX 10 and MAX 8 aircraft. Rolls-Royce does not make engines for these narrowbodies, and the A330 is currently the only opportunity it has with Vietjet.
Vietjet managing director Dinh Viet Phuong said: “The Trent 700 engines supported by TotalCare will bring a technological breakthrough to Vietjet’s fleet, helping increase range and improve quality with the aircraft’s technical reliability and operational efficiency. We hope this partnership with Rolls-Royce will also boost international trade through connecting people around the world both conveniently and economically in the future.”
The complete reopening of Vietnam tourism has allowed Vietjet to break COVID-19 shackles completely. It has reopened all domestic and international services, adding more frequency to many, and is now operating on more than 100 routes. Last week it announced it was launching 13 new routes between Vietnam and India later this year, including services to Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai. The new routes will open between September and December and will link Vietnam’s major cities and the tourist island of Phu Quoc with these new destinations. Vietjet currently operates four India-Vietnam routes, connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with New Delhi and Mumbai.
Does this mean there is still a place for the A330ceo?