SINGAPORE 2010: Airbus targets early A320 re-engining decision, 2015 debut

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A decision to introduce a re-engined A320 into service by the end of 2015 should come by around mid-year, says Airbus's chief salesman John Leahy.

"Ideally I'd like to have [a decision to launch] sorted out by the Farnborough air show," he says.

Speaking in Singapore, Leahy said the upgrade will be offered as an option across the A319, A320 and A321 models. "What we're looking at is the Leap-X from CFM and an offering from IAE, probably around the geared turbofan.

"These engines would be available by the end of 2015, and the target would be 15% lower fuel burn per seat," he adds.

Leahy says that the timing of the re-engined A320 family means that the earliest an all-new single-aisle airliner will come from Airbus, dubbed "A30X", is "in the middle of the next decade, around 2024-25".

Airbus is seeing "a surprising amount of interest from customers" in its re-engining proposals, Leahy says. "Some of this might have been started by Bombardier with its [GTF-powered] CSeries, claiming to be 15% better than an A320. But if we do this [re-engining], you can have your A320 and still have your 15% lower fuel burn."