Rolls-Royce finally broke cover overnight on the Qantas QF 32 mid-air incident involving one of its Trent 900 engines on an Airbus A380 with a minimalist statement that completely avoided mentioning let alone discussing its Total Care service contracts for looking after them.

To fill in the gaps in the information Rolls-Royce has provided, here is its own description of Total Care.

Total Care

Note that it provides ‘peace of mind’ minimalises financial and operational risk, and ‘enables the operator to concentrate on core business.’ All benefits that Qantas has enjoyed in abundance since last Thursday’s mid air disintegration of the No2 or inboard Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine powering QF 32 on its way to Sydney from Singapore for the first few minutes of the flight before showering wreckage over Batam Island in Indonesia.

Against an agreed cost per flying hour, TotalCare offers the opportunity to remove uncertainties from engine management and provides greater financial confidence from managing predictable costs.

Qantas has a ‘partial’ Total Care arrangement with Rolls-Royce for the engines on its fleet of A380s, using the same Rolls-Royce facility in Singapore where Singapore Airlines has a ‘full’ Total Care arrangement.

It sound pretty total in that it involves a power-by-the-hour contract but doesn’t cover some line maintenance work that Qantas carries out on the engines around its network.

Here is the Rolls Royce statement:

RR statement

It looks increasingly likely that the reason Singapore Arlines and Lufthansa have not experienced the same severe issues with their Rolls-Royce powered A380s as Qantas is the use of a higher thrust setting by the Qantas airliners.

However the failure of Rolls-Royce to identify and prevent those issues under its Total Care program, even the derated version of Total Care used by Qantas is a matter that needs to be resolved.