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​PARIS: CFM plans Leap production hike despite Max uncertainty

CFM International aims to increase Leap output by 10% next year to 2,000 engines and is not currently planning any major adjustments in the wake of the Boeing 737 Max grounding.

“We will deliver 1,800 Leap engines this year, 2,000 next year. So, we're at something like 40 engines per week,” said CFM president and chief executive Gael Meheust during a briefing ahead of the Paris air show.

The Leap engine powers the 737 Max and the Airbus A320neo family. Last year, CFM delivered 1,100 Leaps and executive vice-president Sebastien Imbourg says CFM is “on track, no question” to deliver 1,800 engines this year.

“We still have close to 400 CFM56-7s and -5s to deliver this year, so it’s around 2,100 CFM engines that will be delivered this year.”

CFM continues to ship Leap-1Bs to Boeing for the 737 Max, despite the grounding and suspension of deliveries. Prior to the grounding, CFM had been working to overcome Leap production issues to achieve Boeing’s delivery rate requirements, says CFM executive vice-president Allen Paxson.

“We actually caught up just as the Max fleet was grounded,” he says.

As a result of the grounding, CFM has “made some very minor adjustments at the piece/part level to align ourselves with the production demand from Boeing”, adds Paxson.

Meheust says that despite the uncertainty over when the Max will return to service and deliveries resume, there are no current plans to adapt engine production rates.

“We deliver engines per a Boeing requirement,” he says. “The plan right now says we are not changing the delivery output…we will adapt to whatever they need. Right now, the feeling we get is that they are not planning to ask us for any reduction, so we maintain the pace.”

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