General Electric has abandoned plans to offer an engine for the Airbus A330-200 Freighter, but Pratt & Whitney looks set to join Rolls-Royce as the second engine supplier for the new cargo variant.
GE told Flight International that it has informed Airbus that it will not offer an engine on the A330-200F, as it "could not make the business case work".
GE, which, like P&W and Rolls Royce, is a supplier on the A330 passenger version with its CF6-80E1 engine, says the decision has no bearing on its involvement in the Northrop Grumman-led KC-30 tanker team that uses the A330-200F as, if the bid is selected, the US government will cover the engine/airframe certification costs.
Airbus declines to comment on the GE decision.
Meanwhile, A330-200F launch customer Intrepid Aviation plans to announce its engine selection at the show, and is in discussions with P&W about a deal for the PW4000. Intrepid has a letter of intent for 20 A330-200Fs for delivery from early 2010.
Speaking last week, Intrepid chief executive Ron Anderson told Flight International that it had "not made a final [engine] choice yet, but expects to by the air show".
P&W confirms that it is in a campaign to supply PW4000s to Intrepid.
The R-R Trent 700 has already been selected by Guggenheim Aviation Partners for some or all of the six A330-200Fs that it has on order for delivery from 2010.
The first operator of the A330-200F will be Flyington Freighters, which is due to receive the first of six aircraft on order in late 2009. The Indian start-up is yet to announce its engine selection - which will be the lead powerplant on the A330-200F. Airbus says that lead engine "will be decided shortly".