Rolls lands $700m whale of a deal

The Beluga AXL airbus, which gets its name because of its resemblance to the white Arctic whale
The Beluga AXL airbus, which gets its name because of its resemblance to the white Arctic whale

Rolls-Royce has been selected by Airbus to provide engines and service support for five new Beluga XL air transporter aircraft in a deal worth $700m.

The aircraft will replace the current Airbus Beluga fleet, which is powered by engines from another provider.

The Beluga XL was launched in November 2014 and provides Airbus with an additional 30 per cent air transport capacity.

Simon Carlisle, Rolls-Royce executive vice president, said: “We welcome this decision to select an engine that is the clear market leader on the A330 and offers outstanding performance in terms of fuel burn, reliability, emissions and noise.”

The Trent 700 has won more than 60 per cent of new orders over the last three years and now accounts for 90 per cent of A330 freighters in service and on order.

The order announced this week will result in an increase in the group’s order book of $300m.

Bertrand George, Airbus senior vice-president, said: “We look forward to the Trent 700 powering this important development in our air transport strategy.

“The engine has an excellent record on the A330 and is ideally suited to our requirements for this aircraft.”

The aircraft gets its name because of its resemblance to the white Arctic whale.