Any decision by CFM International partner GE Aviation on participation in Boeing's proposed New Mid-market Airplane (NMA) programme will depend on a business case around perceived market size for the aircraft combined with the number of engine suppliers on the programme.
"It's all business-case-dependent. We like to have as many platforms to put our engine on as we can," says Chaker Chahrour, GE Aviation's vice-president and general manager of global sales and marketing.
CFM is sole-source supplier on the Boeing 737 programme but competes with International Aero Engines on the Airbus A320ceo and Pratt & Whitney on the A320neo.
Chahrour says that the development of a new centreline engine, such as the one for the NMA, costs around $2.5-3 billion, so the company has to carefully evaluate the market opportunities for the engine.
"If the volume of an airplane does not make a sensible business case for us as a two-engine or three-engine [source] on that airframe, we obviously don't like it and we want to go down a path that's a single-source engine," he says.
Any market for this proposed new generation of engines beyond the NMA is unclear. Airbus's sales chief Eric Schulz says Airbus "potentially maybe" would have a need for such an engine. "But certainly not something that I have in mind today to say 'Yes, absolutely we could'," he adds.