AIRSHOW-Airbus sees key engine decision in Sept

FARNBOROUGH, England, July 18 (BestGrowthStock) – Airbus (EAD.PA: )
is leaning towards upgrading its narrow-body fleet of aircraft,
its main source of revenue, with new engines and it expects
Boeing (BA.N: ) will follow suit, according to sales chief John
Leahy.

However it will not complete studies on the potentially
significant move before end-September, as it tries to figure
out if it has enough engineering resources in the wake of
delays to other programmes and amid the development of its new
A350 jet.

A new engine would provide fuel savings of about 15 percent
from 2015, pending more radical improvements in engine
technology which Airbus does not expect for at least 15 years.

“We think that is the way to go and that Boeing will be
behind us before end of year,” Leahy said of the engine
upgrade.

“Let’s make sure we have engineering resources in place,”
he said adding that the same plane with new engines and
fuel-saving wingtip devices known as Sharklets would be a
strong product.

“We are running those tracklines through. By the end of
September we will have the whole thing put together …
Assuming that it works I would like to think we would be out
there in the fourth quarter,” he said, adding the proposals
would have to be approved by the EADS board before Airbus could
offer the plane.

He was speaking at a briefing ahead of the Farnborough
Airshow where he expected further signs of a rebound in orders.

“We had 131 firm orders at the end of June and I have a bet
with Louis (Gallois) here that we will more than double that by
the end of the air show,” he said, referring to the chief
executive of Airbus parent EADS who was at the same briefing.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Matthias Blamont; editing by
Jeremy Laurence)

AIRSHOW-Airbus sees key engine decision in Sept