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Emirates seeks Rolls-Royce A380 engine deal, nothing finalised

Reuters  |  DUBAI/HONG KONG 

DUBAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) - is edging towards a deal with to power its latest superjumbos but has not yet reached a final agreement, the Dubai-based said on Sunday.

The fate of a lifeline order for up to 36 of the double-decker aircraft, of which already has over 100 in operation, has been widely questioned due to inconclusive talks over a separate deal between and engine makers.

"We are getting closer (to a deal with Rolls-Royce) but have not crossed the line yet," a for the Dubai-based carrier said, asked about the status of negotiations with the British

A French newspaper last week reported the two sides had reached an agreement.

Industry sources have said Emirates is unhappy with the performance of Trent 900 engines on already in service and that a shortfall in efficiency has meant having to pay hefty penalties.

To improve performance and avoid such penalties in future, Rolls-Royce would need to put more R&D spending into the engine at a time when it is mired in delays or reliability problems on engines for the and the A330neo.

Engine Alliance, a joint venture between and that until recently had provided engines for Emirates' fleet, has shown little interest in reviving output.

Its parent companies are tackling restructuring at GE and delays on smaller engines, industry sources say.

president has reportedly denied suggestions that the is slowing down taking delivery of existing A380s, saying delays are due to production problems.

"Unfortunately, quite a few of the deliveries have slipped and they are all compressed in the back end of the year in the next two months, so we are taking them now," he told the Airline Ratings website.

reported last week that there were delays in delivering some to Emirates and quoted one source as saying Emirates did not need them for now and had parked a number as part of efforts to manage capacity.

Durability problems affecting Roll-Royce's Trent 1000 engine have resulted in premature repairs and led to as many as 40 or so Boeing being idle at any time, industry sources say.

The crisis has had a knock-on effect on other programmes as Rolls diverts production capacity from the similar Trent 7000 engine, resulting in delays to the A330neo.

(Reporting by and Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Toby Davis)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, November 04 2018. 19:03 IST