According to industry sources, Rolls-Royce is set to redesign and build a brand new engine for Airbus' latest aircraft project. All three models of the A350 jetliner were originally going to the use the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine, however after pressure from airlines Airbus now want to increase power for its largest version of the aircraft. In response, Boeing said they were under no immediate pressure to respond to the news, but would analyse the situation at 'some point in time'.
It is believed that airlines had criticized Airbus for its policy of using the same Rolls-Royce engine in all of its A350 models. The largest variant, the A350-1000, would require more thrust if it was carrying a heavy load. The news of a more powerful engine would also put the A350 in a stronger position to compete with Boeing’s 777 wide-body range.
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However, Jim Albaugh, Head of Boeing's Commercial Airplanes Unit said that the company was under no immediate pressure to respond with an upgrade for its 777 fleet. He did reveal that Boeing would re-evaluate the situation in the future.
“We have time to analyze the situation and at some point in time we'll do either a derivative or a new plane to make sure we secure what I'll call the high ground in the markets we serve,” said Albaugh.