Asiana Airlines of South Korea has chosen the International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500-A5 to power its planned new fleet of Airbus Industrie A321 narrowbodies.

The engine is understood to have been selected over the competing CFM56-5B after an intensive pricing and technical battle between IAE and CFM International. A formal Asiana announcement on the decision is expected shortly.

A tentative deal, still subject to Government approval, calls for the supply of 36 V2500s plus spare powerplants. The 133kN (30,000lb)-thrust engine will power 18 A321s to be purchased by Asiana (Flight International, 10-16 April, P5).

The South Korean airline opted for the A321 over the rival Boeing 737-800 as its next narrowbody aircraft, as part of a planned wider fleet-replacement programme which involves orders and options for a total of up to 72 aircraft.

Airline sources suggest that Asiana might choose to hold off confirming its A321/ V2500 decision officially until the selection of its new widebody aircraft is completed. A final airframe decision is targeted for the end of May, with an announcement on engines expected by July.

The follow-on widebody programme covers a total of 52 aircraft, including orders for five Boeing 747-400s and options for a further seven. The remaining 40 aircraft are likely to be a mix of Boeing 777s and Airbus A330-200/300s, or Boeing 767-300 twinjets.

Airbus and Boeing have already provided pricing for different aircraft combinations. Various options which are under consideration include 15 A330s, and a similar number of options, together with ten 777/767s, or up to 20 A330s and 20 777s.

Source: Flight International