Rolls-Royce and South African Airways Technical today celebrated the opening of Rolls-Royce’s first lease engine storage facility in Africa, further developing its global service support network to deliver improved aircraft availability.
The event was supported and attended by the United Kingdom’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, Emma Wade-Smith OBE and Ms Thandi Phele, the Acting Deputy Director General at the South African Department of Trade and Industry responsible for industrial development.
The facility, based in the SAAT site at Johannesburg’s Oliver Tambo International Airport, the busiest airport in Africa, 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.
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.
Kevin Evans, Rolls-Royce, Vice President 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.”
Wellington Nyuswa, SAAT CEO (Acting), said: “This agreement enables us to demonstrate our capabilities to Rolls-Royce, with whom we’ve 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 company.”
Thandi Phele, the Acting Deputy Director General of the South African Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), said: "The dti, through its agreement with Rolls-Royce in the National Industrial Participation Programme (NIPP), has forged a partnership that will yield mutual benefits over the next few years. The NIPP, as a lever of government procurement is a policy aimed at leveraging opportunities to develop industrial capabilities that will drive industrialisation towards the fulfilment of job creation and economic growth. In terms of this project South African Airways Technical (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 authorised 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.