Hazy questions benefits for re-engined narrowbodies

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Potential re-eninged offerings from Airbus and Boeing are receiving a cool reception from former IFLC chairman Steven Udvar Hazy.

Speaking at the annual Istat conference in Orlando, Florida after his retirement last month, Hazy says that a potential 12% to 15% fuel efficiency improvement gained from re-engined airframes could be wiped out by yet-to-be determined maintenance and capital costs.

It is unknown if technology supplied by engine manufacturers will produce the 30,000 to 40,0000h time on wing that CFM International engines and IAE V2500s currently enjoy, he says.

Hazy cautions airlines need to consider both maintenance costs and potential expenses of training staff to maintain the new powerplants.

He also warns of rising capital costs offsetting any gains in engine efficiency. "These are questions no one is coming up with answers to," Hazy says.

The last thing the industry needs is premature product obsolescence, says Hazy. Re-engined aircraft could pressure values of existing narrowbody aircraft, he adds, making financial transactions more challenging.

BOC Aviation CEO Robert Martin says it will be surprising to see rapid decisions on re-engining by airframers.

He believes re-engining has only gained traction during the last three months, driven by Republic's order for the Bombardier CSeries and a heightened focus on strategy by engine manufacturers.

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Gary Scott tells Istat attendees he believes the CSeries will drive down residual values of smaller-sized A320 and 737 products, and re-engined aircraft will pressure values on larger narrowbody models already in service and those in each manufacturer's backlog. "It's a big decision for them."