- Rolls-Royce is confident it can deliver permanent cost reductions after its restructure last year, positioning the business well for the rebound in international air travel.

Ahead of its AGM today, the company said it is expecting its Spirit of Innovation all-electric aircraft will take to the air "within weeks".

In the first four months of 2021 large engine flying hours were around 40% of 2019 levels supported by demand for cargo flights and the maintenance of key routes. This is broadly unchanged from the run rate at the end of 2020 and consistent with planning assumptions.

The company said that while the timing of the recovery remains uncertain, the progress of Covid-19 vaccination programmes in a significant number of countries, particularly the US and UK, is encouraging. Combined with increased testing, vaccination programmes are key enablers of further recovery in international air travel.

In power systems, performance is on track despite the challenging environment, with governmental demand remaining resilient and aftermarket demand increasing. The compnay expects the recovery to accelerate through the remaining months of the year.

In defence, Rolls Royce has continued to perform resiliently with high levels of backlog cover following a strong period of order intake in recent years.

It is awaiting the outcome of its tender for the B-52 new engine programme, where a decision from the US Department of Defense is expected in the second half of this year. The UK government's recent defence review confirmed investment in technology-led solutions supported by the increase in defence funding announced last year, including £2 billion for the Future Combat Air System.

The next scheduled trading update will be on 5 August 2021, when Rolls Royce will publishes its Half Year 2021 results.

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