LONDON – Local media is reporting that Singapore Airlines has grounded two of its nine Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft.

The Rolls Royce Trent 1000 TEN engines, which has had issues with premature blade cracking in the past has now affected the two units in the airline’s fleet.

These cracks were found after preliminary checks were taken out on the aircraft before flight.

A spokesperson has commented on this grounding of the two affected jets, offering safety as a priority.

“As safety is our top priority, the SIA Group, in consultation with Rolls-Royce, proactively identified other Trent 1000 TEN engines in the group’s 787 fleet to undergo precautionary inspections.

“All of these engine inspections on SIA’s 787-10 fleet have now been completed, and a remaining check will be completed on a Scoot 787-9 by April 3”.

It is not clear at this time what the registrations of the aircraft are but based on Flightradar24 data, 9V-SCA last flew on March 31, three days ago.

9V-SCD last flew on March 30, which was four days ago. SCE last flew on March 31 also.

All of the other airframes have flown either today or yesterday, highlighting that SCA, SCD and SCE could be the affected airframes. It is about which two are the affected ones.

What we do know is that the two aircraft have been removed from service whilst the airline awaits engine replacements.

The 787-10s in the fleet operate to 12 destinations, and are as follows:

  • Bangkok
  • Denpasar
  • Fukuoka
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Manila
  • Nagoya
  • New Delhi
  • Osaka
  • Perth
  • Taipei
  • Tokyo-Narita

Other aircraft are therefore having to be serviced in to run some of these routes.

The airline apologised for any disruption that may come of these groundings.

“We regret the inconvenience caused and sincerely apologise to customers whose travel plans are affected, and seek their understanding.”

Rolls-Royce also commented on this issue, saying that operators were made away about the limited life cycle on the turbine-blades due to the hight pressure that is succumbed against it.

“Working with operators, we have been sampling a small po-pulation of the Trent 1000 TEN fleet that has flown in more arduous conditions.”

“This work has shown that a small number of these engines need to have their blades replaced earlier than scheduled”.

“We will now work closely with any impacted customers to deliver an accelerated programme to implement the enhanced blade and to ensure that we can deliver on our Trent 1000 TEN future commitments. We regret any disruption this causes to airline operations”.

As the launch customer of the 787-10, this is not good news for Singapore Airlines.

For any prospective customers on the Boeing side, it is not advertising the aircraft well.

Another wider question is whether this affects other airlines. As Rolls Royce have warned about the short product life, this looks to be the case.

Only time will tell how long the affected airframes will be grounded for. It will also tell whether any other carriers will follow suit over this grounding.