Re-engined A320 would have at least 10-year lifespan: Leahy

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Airbus is confident that a re-engined A320 would have a production lifespan of at least 10 years if the airframer pursued the proposed update.

The airframer has 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.

Airbus chief operating officer for customers John Leahy 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," he says.

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

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

Leahy stresses that Airbus is not interested in a sole-source deal with P&W for the PW1000G, 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 geared turbofan.

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