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Last Updated: Friday, 6 October 2006, 10:07 GMT 11:07 UK
Rolls-Royce hit by Airbus delays
Rolls-Royce Trent engine
Rolls-Royce said it was too early to gauge the impact on its employees
Rolls-Royce has confirmed it will suspend production of one of its top engines, following delays to the Airbus A380 super-jumbo announced this week.

Airbus's flagship A380 planes, now two years late, use Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines that are built in Derby.

Rolls-Royce has suspended production for 12 months, saying the "exact implications are being assessed".

The company said that it was too early to say what impact the decision to cut output would have on its employees.

"We are waiting for more details about requirements from Airbus," Rolls-Royce said.

"Once we are clear on that and any potential impact on future workload, we will consult with the unions," it added.

The firm said it would adjust its programme "accordingly".

Rolls-Royce said the Derby plant - which employs 11,000 workers - would still be producing engines for other companies including Boeing and Bombardier.

Assessing positions

Rolls-Royce was keen to stress that the production of civil engines accounted for only about 20% of the company's turnover.

And while the Trent 900 engine was seen as a key strategic product going forward, it currently accounts for only a fraction of the firm's total sales.

Rolls-Royce is also building engines for Boeing's Dreamliner passenger jet that is scheduled for delivery in 2008.

After initially announcing problems in June, Airbus revealed this week that deliveries of its flagship A380 would face further delays.

The first orders of the A380 planes are not expected to arrive until October, 2007.

The decision by Rolls-Royce to suspend production for a year comes after leading commercial airlines said that they were assessing their positions and orders following the confirmation of further delays to the Airbus A380.

Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines and Qantas - all due to buy the super-jumbo - are among those affected by the delay.

The GE-P&W Engine Alliance is also making an engine for the A380, named the GP7200.

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