On with the show as GE Aviation clinches £17.50bn worth of engine orders

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GE Aviation chief executive David Joyce said the engine manufacturer achieved its Farnborough Airshow target of $30bn (£17.50bn) of orders and commitments by the end of yesterday.

“The show’s going very well,” Joyce said. “Our customers are very satisfied with progress we’re making on the new engines.” Joyce also said GE Aviation hoped to finalise an engine deal soon with Qatar Airways over Boeing 777X planes.

Qatar Airways announced a deal for 50 of the 777X, the latest version of Boeing’s best-selling widebody jet, at the Dubai Airshow. It jointly negotiated the deal with Emirates, which last week finalised its $56bn order to buy 150 of the planes.

“They’re a tough negotiator,” Joyce said of Qatar and its chief executive, Akbar Al Baker.

“He’s already agreed to the engines. We hope to get the services contracting done as part of the deal. We are confident we’ll get to a resolution, we always do.”

GE also announced yesterday it would be investing $50m in a facility for additive manufacturing – also known as 3D printing – at its plant in Auburn, Alabama.

The facility, which will make the fuel nozzles for the Leap engines GE makes as part of the CFM joint venture with France’s Safran, will have as many as 10 printing machines by the end of 2015, with the potential to increase this to over 50.

Greg Morris, general manager, additive technologies, said the group had not yet decided which company would provide the printing machines. GE currently uses EOS, SLM, Phoenix and Arcam machines.

“We’re in the final stages of selecting the equipment manufacturers,” Morris said.

Meanwhile, US leasing company Intrepid Aviation announced an order yesterday for six Boeing 777-300ER aircraft valued at $1.9bn (£1.11bn) at list prices.

The company has an option to purchase an additional four 777 aircraft, Boeing said at the Farnborough Airshow.