The flying hours of Rolls-Royce engines have finally returned to pre-Covid-19 levels

  • Rolls-Royce revealed that large engine flying hours have returned to pre-pandemic levels
  • The civil aerospace division received significant engine orders from three airlines

Rolls-Royce has left its annual guidance unchanged after a continued recovery in air travel since the start of the year.

The engineering giant revealed that large engine flight hours – a measure of how much airlines use their engines – returned to pre-pandemic levels in the first four months of 2024.

The result was attributed to the company’s growing fleet of aircraft powered by the company’s engines and the recovery in global travel across Asia following the easing of Covid-related restrictions.

Recovery: Rolls-Royce revealed that large engine flying hours – a measure of how much airlines use its engines – returned to pre-pandemic levels in the first four months of 2024

Rolls-Royce’s civil aerospace division also received significant engine orders from Indian airline IndiGo, Taiwanese airline Starlux and low-cost Vietnamese airline Vietjet.

As a result, the company has maintained full-year forecasts for engine flight hours of up to 110 percent of 2019 volumes, as well as 1,300 to 1,400 store visits and 500 to 550 original equipment deliveries.

In addition, it expects underlying operating profit of around £1.7 billion to £2 billion, compared to £1.6 billion last year, and free cash flow of around £1.9 billion.

Tufan Erginbilgic, CEO of Rolls-Royce, said: “We have had a strong start to the year, despite ongoing supply chain challenges across the industry.

“This builds on our record performance in 2023 and provides further confidence in our expectations for 2024.

“The targeted investments we are making will continue to drive growth and create value for all our stakeholders over the medium term and beyond.”

Since the former BP executive took over last year, Rolls-Royce has enjoyed a strong turnaround, with annual profits more than doubling and cash flow reaching record levels.

The country’s performance has benefited not only from increasing air traffic, but also from increased defense spending by governments amid escalating conflicts in Ukraine, Asia and the Middle East.

Two months ago, the Australian government selected Rolls-Royce to build power units for nuclear submarines under the AUKUS security agreement.

And earlier this week, Rolls-Royce announced it would provide technology for a new generation of military aircraft nicknamed the ‘Doomsday Plane’ as part of the US Air Force’s Survivable Airborne Operations Center project.

In addition, the group is securing new orders in its energy systems business, recently winning a contract to supply a large-scale battery storage system to the Latvian national grid.

Rolls-Royce Holdings shares were 0.75 percent, or 3.2 cents, lower at 424.8 cents on Thursday morning, but have still skyrocketed nearly 180 percent over the past 12 months.