Airbus sees lifespan of at least 10 years for re-engined A320

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Airbus is confident that if it goes ahead with its proposed A320 re-engining, the updated model would have a production lifespan of at least 10 years.

The airframer has also urged International Aero Engines and its partner Pratt & Whitney to devise a way of offering the latter's PW1000G geared turbofan through the consortium, as an alternative to the CFM International Leap-X advanced turbofan.

John Leahy, who is Airbus's chief operating officer customers, says that the proposed new A320 could be in service by 2015 and that any all-new single-aisle aircraft is unlikely to arrive before 2024-25. "With re-engined aircraft there is usually an overlap of a few years with the new aircraft - this is what Boeing did with the 737NG - so it will have a life of at least 10 years."

airbus/tim bicheno-brown
 © Tim Bicheno-Brown
An artists impression of a P&W GTF powered A320

Meanwhile, chief executive Tom Enders says Airbus will "take a decision on the re-engining this year". Speaking during its annual press conference in Seville, Enders added that the airframer will also decide "what the engine solutions will be".

The Leap-X advanced turbofan and the PW1000G are being evaluated, and Enders repeated Airbus's previous statement that it wants an offer from its existing A320 supplier IAE.

Leahy stresses that Airbus is not interested in a sole-source deal with P&W for the GTF, and urges the US engine maker to get together with its IAE partners - which include Rolls-Royce - to "work out a way for IAE to offer the GTF".

Although the airframer wants "multiple suppliers" for the new engines, Leahy does not rule out signing a deal later this year first with CFM "if Pratt and IAE aren't ready".