British luxury automobile maker Rolls-Royce has opened its first lease engine storage facility based in the South African Airways Technical (SAAT) site at Johannesburg’s Oliver Tambo International Airport, the busiest airport in Africa.
The facility will further develop its global service support network to deliver improved aircraft availability.
The event was attended by the United Kingdom’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, Emma Wade-Smith OBE and Thandi Phele, the acting deputy director general at the South African Department of Trade and Industry responsible for industrial development.
It is capable of storing a full range of Rolls-Royce engine types to meet the requirements of airline and business jet customers based or operating in Africa. It can house every type of Trent engine, including the Trent 7000 which will soon power the Airbus A330neo into service.
Kevin Evans, Rolls-Royce, VP – Customers Africa said, “The opening of this facility marks the start of a journey that will see SAAT play an expanding role in our development of availability services across Africa as it increases its capability. We have worked closely with South African Airways for a number of years, and we are delighted to be working with them on this initiative.”
Rolls-Royce is providing technical training to SAAT staff to enable them to conduct work on engines in storage. The shared vision is that SAAT mechanics will in time be capable of performing a range of inspection and on-wing services to Rolls-Royce customers in Africa.
Wellington Nyuswa, Acting SAAT CEO said, “This agreement enables us to demonstrate our capabilities to Rolls-Royce, with whom we have had a long-standing relationship as well as to other outside parties. It dovetails with our strategy to seek further revenue generating opportunities, and will enable our vision to be Africa’s leading world-class maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company.”
Phele said, “In terms of this project, SAAT will acquire critical technical training from Rolls-Royce that will enable them to support Rolls-Royce customers. We believe that SAAT is perfectly positioned to be able to do that, and we look forward to a long and lasting relationship with Rolls-Royce.”
The facility is authorized to store engines covering all the needs of Rolls-Royce’s African customers: AE3007; Tay; BR710; BR715; RB211-524; RB211-535; Trent 500; Trent 700; Trent 800; Trent 900; Trent 1000; Trent XWB and Trent 7000.