Rolls-Royce takes £1.1bn hit after flying hours collapse

Rolls-Royce is set to take a £1.1bn hit due to reduced flying hours in the first half of the year, according to new figures released this morning (9 July).

The Derby-based company said that its engine flying hours were down by a half in the first six months of the year – including a drop of 75% in April, May and June.

Rolls said its target of saving £1bn by the end of the year through job cuts and efficienes was on track, and that its defence business remained “resilient”. The company reported that it expects an improved performance in the second half of the year.

The news comes a month after Rolls-Royce said it was cutting 9,000 jobs across the company, with Derby likely to be hard hit.

Warren East, chief executive, said: “These are exceptional times. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a historic shock in civil aviation which will take several years to recover. We started this year with positive momentum and strong liquidity and acted swiftly to conserve cash and cut costs to protect Rolls-Royce during the pandemic.

“We are taking steps to resize our Civil Aerospace business to adapt to lower medium-term demand from customers and help secure our future. This means we have had to take the very difficult decision to lose people who have helped us become the company we are and who have been proud to work for Rolls-Royce.

“It is my first priority to treat everyone – whether they are leaving or staying – with dignity and respect. We will take the lessons of how we have dealt with this unprecedented challenge with us and position ourselves to emerge as an even stronger company in the future.”