June 17, 2017 / 12:58 PM / 2 months ago

CFM says confident of reaching 500 LEAP deliveries in 2017

PARIS, June 17 (Reuters) - CFM International said on Saturday it was confident of meeting a delivery target of 500 deliveries of LEAP engines by the end of the year despite a recent quality flaw with a component.

Boeing earlier this year briefly suspended 737 MAX test flights while CFM, co-owned by Safran and General Electric, conducted checks after a quality problem was found in a turbine disc.

Safran and GE have both recently talked of 450-500 engine deliveries but CFM officials told a briefing ahead of the Paris Airshow that they remained committed to the target of 500 and that their level of confidence had not changed.

They said the engine, developed for Boeing and Airbus medium-haul planes, was proving to have higher utilisation rates than a rival model from Pratt & Whitney.

Each 1 percent in improved utilisation has the same benefit for airline finances as a 5 percent fuel saving, they said.

CFM expects to have clearance for 180-minute extended operations by the end of June for the Boeing and Airbus versions of LEAP.

That means planes will be able to fly up to 3 hours away from the nearest airport at any one time, allowing airlines to serve long over-water routes like Hawaii to the U.S. West Coast. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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