The absent LEAP-X customers

It is very early to say anything about the long-term share of the Geared Turbo Fan and the LEAP-X on the A320neo. On the other hand it is notable that there are now three announced engine choices for the A320neo and none of them is in favour of the LEAP-X.
  • ILFC opted for the GTF for at least 60 of their 100 aircraft (MoU with Airbus yet to be firmed up). They have an option for the GTF for the remaining 40 aircraft, but are in talks with CFM about the LEAP-X. Apparently ILFC is not yet convinced to order the LEAP-X.
  • Indigo: this can be deemed as an easy win for P&W, although also CFM fought hard for this large deal. Indigo currently uses the V2500 on their "classic" A320.
  • Lufthansa: as I wrote in another blog entry, the most important win for P&W so far. They initially ordered the V2500 for their A320, but when RR had problems with the High Pressure Compressor, they had to switch to the CFM56. By the time the A321 was launched, the V2500 then became Lufthansa's choice again - but for the A319 Lufthansa favoured the CFM56. I see two reasons for their split: one is to get a maintenance license for both engines, as Lufthansa Technik is a major player also in the engine maintenance business and saw business opportunities with third parties. Another reason is that the A321 typically flies on longer routes than the A320 and A319, where the better engine SFC of the V2500 plays a bigger role. On the other hand, the CFM56 could have an edge if you fly shorter routes and more sectors a day, as the CFM56 with it's single stage turbine has lower maintenance costs than the V2500. Now Lufthansa ordered the GTF for both the A320neo and the A321neo - a significant move in my eyes!
Now - who is the most probable LEAP-X customer, once ordering the A320neo? GECAS of course! There is no order for the A320neo from GECAS so far - this is no judgement so far, but if Airbus collects some more and potentially large orders by the time of the Paris Air Show in June and GECAS does not come on board, I have a sense that there could be a problem with the LEAP-X - as GECAS should be the customer who has the best insight into the engine.

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