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PARIS, June 16 (Reuters) - Safran and its U.S. partner General Electric are would be willing to provide engines should Boeing go ahead with a new middle of market jet, the head of Safran's aircraft engine business said on Friday.
"If the programme is launched, we are ready and we have the resources to do it," Olivier Andries said at the Paris Air Forum on Friday, adding Safran would do so within the CFM joint venture with GE.
Andries said it was up to Boeing whether to double-source - to offer a choice of engines to airlines for the plane.
"We would be more comfortable playing in a single source position because of the volumes," Andries said, adding it would allow CFM to make a more aggressive proposal in terms of pricing.
He also said that the CFM Leap engine flies on average an extra hour per day compared to the competing Pratt & Whitney engine and therefore offered airlines more revenue.
The comments prepare the ground for what could be a battle over reliability as well as fuel performance in any future engine competition for the middle of the market plane. (Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Cyril Altmeyer)