January 22, 2018 / 2:03 PM / in 9 months

Udvar-Hazy sees risk of Boeing 737 MAX delays over engines

DUBLIN, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The executive chairman of aircraft leasing firm Air Lease Corp warned on Monday of possible delays to deliveries of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft if engine issues worsen.

The top-selling Boeing aircraft is powered by engines made by French-U.S. venture CFM International, co-owned by France’s Safran and General Electric of the United States. CFM has had some industrial problems in producing its new LEAP engine for the 737 MAX and some Airbus aircraft.

“Boeing is on time so far. But if the CFM problem continues to be more complex than we anticipated, then I think Boeing has its work cut out as far as getting on time sufficient numbers of engines from CFM for the LEAP-1B,” Steven Udvar-Hazy told the Airlines Economics conference in Dublin.

“But we are optimistic that these are solvable problems . We don’t see any technology or major design flaws. It’s just what I call baby pains,” he added.

Deliveries of the competing Airbus A320neo family have been delayed mainly by technical problems with the Geared Turbofan engine from Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies , but also by industrial issues at CFM, Airbus says.

Udvar-Hazy said he was disappointed by the reliability of the Pratt & Whitney engines in service, with some airlines having to take engines off wing for early repairs. (Reporting by Conor Humphries, Editing by Tim Hepher)

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