Pratt & Whitney is confident that it will next year launch a second programme to provide spare parts for a competitor's engine following the successful launch of its CFM International CFM56-3 project.

Matthew Bromberg, vice-president global material solutions, says P&W is discussing with customers which engine types they are interested in seeing supported in that way.

Speaking at the MRO Europe conference in Madrid, Bromberg said: "We have started active conversations with operators all over the world to ask what the next programme should be. Going into next year we are assessing if customer demand is there - and I believe it will be - and we will launch another programme next year."

P&W's current programme covers a total of 48 parts on the CFM56-3 - 19 life-limited parts and 29 gas-path components. The company claims it can save operators hundreds of thousands of dollars on each engine shop visit.

Bromberg concedes that the grounding by US launch customer United Airlines of its classic Boeing 737-300/500 fleet has been challenging for the initial programme. While about 200 737 Classics are expected to be grounded over the next 12-18 months, he remains confident that the programme will bounce back.

Bromberg says: "In the long term it is not something worries me. The classic 737 is a very robust airframe and 200 is only about 10% of the installed base. If you look at the demand for lift in that class it is still very high. New narrowbodies are booked solid for five years and the 737 is very attractive.

"In the long term I believe all these aircraft will be redeployed, although in the interim term we have a challenge. Over the next 18-24 months we are confident that the market will stabilise."

Source: Flight International