CFM hopes for record year on engine orders

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CFM International expects another record year for engine orders, its chief executive said yesterday.

CFM, a joint venture between Safran and GE, has secured orders for 2,071 engines so far in 2014 to the end of June, driven by its new Leap engine for the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737 Max narrow-body planes. It pulled in orders for 2,723 engines last year.

It earlier reported that it had been picked by American Airlines to provide engines for 100 Airbus A320neo jets the airline has on order, in a deal worth $2.6bn at list prices.

“When we see the number of orders already achieved at this time of year and when we compare this figure with the previous year... then we are about to achieve another record year in 2014,” CFM chief executive Jean-Paul Ebanga said at an event ahead of the Farnborough air show, which starts today.

When asked about media reports that easyJet was poised to order CFM engines to power 100 A320neo planes, Mr Ebanga said CFM had made an offer to the 
low-cost carrier, but that it was up to the airline to decide now.

CFM competes with Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp, to supply engines for the A320neo. Mr Ebanga highlighted the fact that CFM had provided the engines for easyJet’s first Boeing planes and that the airline was its biggest customer for the CFM56-5B engine.

Executives at the briefing also said CFM was on schedule with testing and certification for its new Leap engine, with the first variant due to come into service in 2016, and that the company was working hard to ensure it was ready to increase production to 1,800 engines per year by 2020 from the current rate of 1,500.

Executive vice-president Cedric Goubet said the company was also looking to make improvements on the Leap engine further down the line.