General Electric is floating the idea of offering the GEnx to power future derivatives of the A330, including the -200F freighter and tanker variants.
GE was well into the design of the GEnx-72A1 variant for the similarly sized A350-800/900 when the programme was revised in favour of the larger, wider A350 XWB. GEnx programme manager Tom Brisken says: "If they want to use it in the A330 for the freighter or tanker it's a great engine. It is still available to them." GE says the study is "very preliminary". Brisken adds: "There's no intent for Airbus to do that, but it does offer significant advantages, and if 13% fuel burn means anything to the customers, I'm sure there could be interest."
Dr Kiran Rao, Airbus executive vice-president marketing and contracts customer affairs, says that although the A330 is "a very economical and popular aircraft with airlines" the GE offer could be of interest. "If someone wants to offer further improvements in terms of fuel consumption or other factors it is our duty to look at it," he says.