January 25, 2018 / 3:17 PM / a year ago

CFM says LEAP engine output 4-5 weeks behind schedule but rising as planned

DUBLIN, Jan 25 (Reuters) - CFM International is 4-5 weeks behind schedule in producing its new LEAP jet engine for Airbus and Boeing medium-haul jets, but remains confident about plans for a sharp ramp-up in production this year.

The engine maker, co-owned by General Electric and France’s Safran, aims to produce 1,100 to 1,200 of the fuel-saving engines in 2018 after delivering 459 last year, executives said in a media conference call on Thursday.

There have been some technical problems on LEAP engines delivered to airlines operating the Airbus A320neo, they said.

CFM supplies all engines for the Boeing 737 and competes with Pratt & Whitney to power the Airbus A320neo.

The planemakers have meanwhile begun sounding out CFM about pushing production plans higher, beyond their currently targeted levels of up to 60 aircraft a month.

“We are answering requests of the airframers for information about our ability to support possible higher rates. These are nothing but the standard discussions we have with manufacturers,” executive vice president Francois Bastin said. (Reporting by Tim Hepher)

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