Republic cites ‘significant incentives’ in Leap selection for A320neos

Washington DC
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Citing and intense competition between CFM and Pratt & Whitney to power 80 Airbus A320neo family aircraft, Republic concluded that CFM "stepped up with significant incentives" that ultimately led the selection of the Leap-X1A to power the aircraft.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Leap-X1A launch customer Virgin America when it declared the "strength of the performance guarantee from CFM was stronger than Pratt & Whitney".

Republic told Air Transport Intelligence the incentives offered by CFM will "enhance Frontier's financial results in the near term as well as provide advantageous pricing for the NEO fleet".

In a regulatory filing Republic stated that its memorandum of understanding with CFM covers a fuel burn guarantee, future spare engine pricing, and a reduction in the overhaul cost of existing CFM engines powering Frontier's current fleet of A20 family aircraft.

Republic also cited a 21 June agreement with GECAS to amend lease terms on certain A319s operated by Frontier, including the return of four aircraft to the lessor in 2012.

"The remaining 18 A319 GECAS leases will be extended for a period of three years and the average monthly lease will be reduced," said Republic.

After Republic placed an order for 40 Bombardier CSeries CS300s in February 2010, the company said it planned to align CSeries delivery dates with A319 returns. Republic is scheduled to receive its first CSeries aircraft in the second quarter of 2015.

It's not clear how Republic intends to operate a dual fleet of 40 CSeries and 40 A319neos, which are likely to have similar configurations. Republic intends to operate the CSeries in a 138-seat configuration, and recently announced plans to add two additional seats to its current A319s in operation for a total of 138 seats on the aircraft.

Despite those similarities, Republic said it remains committed to the CSeries.