Spirit close to A320neo engine decision

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Low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines is close to making an engine decision for its Airbus A320neos on order, says the carrier's chief executive Ben Baldanza.

The airline has orders for 45 A320neos, part of a 75-aircraft order it firmed up in November 2011. The 30 remaining aircraft in the order are the current generation A320s.

Spirit is "close" to making a decision and is still negotiating with both CFM International and Pratt & Whitney, Baldanza tells Flightglobal at the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit in Dallas. The carrier hopes to announce its decision by year-end, he adds.

Baldanza expects that all of Spirit's 45 A320neos to be delivered from Airbus' new A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Alabama, which will deliver its first aircraft in 2016. "We assume that will be the case," says Baldanza, although he is not certain if Spirit will be the first to receive a Mobile-assembled A320neo.