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GE tries to break Rolls-Royce grip on engines for Airbus jet

General Electric is in talks with Airbus to offer engines for the A330 jet, people familiar with the matter said, aiming to break Rolls-Royce's grip as the sole engine provider for the wide-body plane.

The GEnx turbine could offer airline customers fuel savings and lower costs, according to the people, who asked not to be named discussing private deliberations. The discussions are preliminary and no final decision has been made, the people said. The GEnx engine platform is an option on Boeing Co.'s 787 Dreamliner wide-body and is set to be the exclusive power plant for the 777X in development.

Airbus said it was happy with the A330's Rolls Trent engines and is always in talks with engine makers about new technologies and ways to benefit its customers.

GE said it doesn't comment on discussions with planemakers. "We continuously work to identify opportunities to add value for our customers and to assess introduction of new technologies," the company said by email. The GE-Airbus discussions were reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.

GE shares were little changed at $12.74 at 9:36 a.m. in New York. The stock had advanced 14% this year through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 climbed 4.3%.

Engine platforms can cost billions of dollars to develop. Manufacturers attempt to broaden the turbines' use across multiple models as sales of twin-aisle jets lose ground to more-efficient narrow-body planes, such as Airbus's best-selling A320 family.

Boeing said last month that it would pare output of the Dreamliner early next year to 10 a month from 12. Last week, Airbus said it would cut production of the A330 to 40 in 2020 from 53 last year.

GE, as well as other Boeing suppliers, has also been pinched by the global grounding of the 737 Max following two fatal crashes. The planemaker last month halted output of the jet, for which a GE joint venture supplies the engines, while it awaits approval for the plane's return to service.


Published : February 19, 2020

By : Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Siddharth Philip · BUSINESS