This week in aviation news: engine malfunction on Southwest 737 forces emergency landing, Rolls-Royce wins $1.5 billion order from China Eastern Airlines, Lufthansa Technik and China Airlines expand component services partnership
An engine failure forced an Orlando-bound Southwest Airlines flight to make an emergency landing in Pensacola, Florida on Saturday morning. The aircraft took off from New Orleans and had reached cruising altitude when the incident occurred. Passengers described a loud boom, smoke coming out of the Boeing 737’s left engine, and metal debris from the damaged engine flapping in the wind. The aircraft was diverted and all 99 passengers and five crew members were safely evacuated from the aircraft. The NTSB is investigating the incident.
On Wednesday, Rolls-Royce reported that it will equip 15 China Eastern Airlines Airbus A330 aircraft with Trent 700 engines in a deal worth an estimated $1.5 billion. 51 of China Eastern’s A330s currently in operation are powered by Trent 700 engines. Paul Freestone, Senior Vice President, Rolls-Royce, said: “China Eastern operates one of the world’s largest A330 fleets, and we are honored they have selected the Trent 700 again, as it continues to respond to Chinese demand with new levels of service.” Rolls-Royce will continue to offer engine maintenance and support for the aircraft as part of its TotalCare service. The U.K.-based engine manufacturer reports that the Trent 700 delivers superior fuel burn, lower emissions, and is quieter than its competitors.
Lufthansa Technik, the maintenance, repair, and overhaul service for Lufthansa Group, announced an expanded partnership with Taiwan-based China Airlines this week. The long term agreement for component services will support China Airlines’ fleet of Airbus A350s in maintenance, reliability monitoring, reliability enhancement programs, and logistic services. The agreement will also include AOG fleet support using Lufthansa Technik’s worldwide network. C.J. Huang, Senior Vice President at China Airlines said: "After a long selection process we came to the conclusion that Lufthansa Technik could offer us the high level of performance and reliability that we are in need of for the component support of our new A350 fleet. We believe partnering with Lufthansa Technik is a win-win strategic move and will further strengthen the collaboration between China Airlines and Lufthansa Technik." Currently, Lufthansa Technik supplies materials for China Airlines’ A330 and A340 long-haul fleets.