Rolls-Royce, Air China To Establish Trent Engine MRO JV

The engine facility is expected to have capacity for up to 250 engine shop visits annually when at full capacity in the mid-2030s.
Credit: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce and Air China have announced plans to form a new joint venture for Trent engine overhaul services in Beijing.

The new facility will operate as Beijing Aero Engine Services Company (BAESL) and will provide MRO support for the Trent 700 powering the Airbus A330, Trent XWB-84 powering the A350 and the Trent 1000 powering Boeing 787 aircraft. 

Air China, which will be a 50-50 partner in the JV, currently operates all three engine types and around 60% of its overall fleet is powered by Rolls-Royce-manufactured engines. 

Both parties expect BAESL to reach full capacity by the mid-2030s and predict the facility will have capacity to support up to 250 shop visits annually by then.

The Beijing-headquartered airline will be the recipient of engine aftermarket services from the company which will also target third-party operators in China, which accounts for around 20% of all Trent engines operating today.

The announcement was made at the 2022 China International Fair for Trade in Services, held in Beijing. Ma Chongxian, president of Air China, says both parties hope to build the partnership into a world class MRO company and aim to increase the volume of China’s civil aero-engine aftermarket.

Rolls-Royce had previously outlined the expansion of its MRO strategy at an investor day in May. The British engine maker says the JV will help improve cost-competitiveness of its aftermarket business and will also help generate incremental MRO capacity as shop visits increase.

“It aligns in-region growth with in-region capacity providing customer proximity, which supports our sustainability goals by reducing overseas transportation of engines for MRO activity,” Rolls-Royce said in a statement announcing the new partnership.

James Pozzi

As Aviation Week's MRO Editor EMEA, James Pozzi covers the latest industry news from the European region and beyond. He also writes in-depth features on the commercial aftermarket for Inside MRO.