AIR SHOW: Pratt Wins Norwegian Order, Seals IAE Control
First Published Tuesday, 10th July 2012 01:08 am - © 2012 Dow Jones
--United Technologies unit Pratt & Whitney will provide engines for 50 Airbus jets ordered by Norwegian Air Shuttle
--Pratt won contest with rival CFM International, which powers Norwegian's fleet of Boeing 737s
--Pratt notes potential advantages to its increased IAE stake after purchasing Rolls-Royce's share in the consortium
(Adds details on Pratt's increased IAE consortium stake, comment from Pratt president in sixth and seventh paragraphs.)
By Ben Kesling
The aircraft engine unit of United Technologies Corp. (UTX) on Monday won a key order and took control of a joint venture central to its plans to double revenue from the business by 2020.
UTX's Pratt & Whitney unit will provide engines for the 50 Airbus A320neo jets ordered by Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (NAS.OS) after winning a contest with rival engine maker CFM International--a joint venture between General Electric Co. (GE) and Safran SA (SAF.FR). Norwegian already has a fleet of Boeing Co. (BA) 737s powered by CFM engines.
"We chose the PurePower engine because we believe it offers the greatest long-term benefits in terms of reduced fuel burn and lower maintenance costs," said Norwegian Air Chief Operating Officer Asgeir Nyseth in a statement.
Pratt and CFM executives have sparred in recent days at the Farnborough International Air Show in England over the relative merits of the new, more fuel-efficient engines they each are offering for the A320neo and the Boeing 737 Max. Boeing is offering the CFM Leap engine only on the revamped version of its best-selling jet.
In January, Norwegian said it would be buying Airbus aircraft, a blow to Boeing and GE. With its latest announcement, the Scandinavian low-cost airline is again charting new territory, as its fleet will have two types of engine as well as two types of aircraft.
Pratt & Whitney finalized the purchase of Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC's (RYCEY, RR.LN) share of the International Aero Engines consortium on June 29, which raised Pratt's stake in IAE to 61%, a move that could improve synergy when it comes to production and distribution of both older- and newer-design Airbus engines. IAE also includes Japanese Aero Engines Corp. and MTU Aero Engines GmbH.
"The agreement positions IAE, Pratt & Whitney and its shareholders to best serve all A320 customers ... resulting in potential advantages and cost-savings with a united delivery to market for the V2500 and PW1100G-JM engines," said David Hess, president of Pratt & Whitney. Mr. Hess was appointed chairman of IAE as part of the deal.
Cebu Pacific Air, a low-cost Philippine carrier, said Monday it would buy Leap engines for the 30 Airbus A321neos it has on order. Cebu Pacific Air is operated by Cebu Air Inc. (CEB.PH).
Norwegian Air's new aircraft and engines are slated for delivery in 2016 and Cebu's are slated for 2017.
Write to Ben Kesling at email@example.com