Additional Trent engine inspections to disrupt quarter Boeing 787 fleet

 A quarter of Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet will be further disrupted by the additional engine inspections announced by Rolls Royce to those previously planned.

The increased inspection frequency is driven by further understanding of the in-service durability issues with the Trent 1000 Package C engine's intermediate pressure compressor, a condition that was first revealed earlier this year.

An existing EASA Airworthiness Directive for the Package C engine requires inspections of an IPC blade at certain flight cycles. If a durability issue is found, the blade are replaced.

New inspections will lead to additional disruption for the 380 Package C engines currently in-service with airlines.

Airlines will be forced to either switch aircraft or chart flight paths closer to diversionary airports to respond in case of a engine emergency.

The affected 787's ETOPS is expected to be reduced from the certified 330 minutes flight time to the nearest airport to about 140 minutes, requiring the aircraft to fly closer to diversionary airports than straight to its destination.

This issue does not affect current production 787s, the Trent 1000 Package B, Trent 1000 TEN or GEnx-1B engines.

More than 50 percent of the Dreamliner fleet are powered by the rival GE GEnX-1B engines.

The Package C engines certified in 2013, featured a 1 percent fuel efficiency improvement over the Package B. The Trent 1000 engine thrust ranges from the 280 kN to 340 kN.

Boeing said the 787 has safely flown more than 3.2 billion miles since entering commercial service in 2011.