May 28, 2015 / 9:56 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Airbus says A320neo is on track despite engine part problem

(Adds Pratt & Whitney comment)

TOULOUSE, May 28 (Reuters) - Planemaker Airbus is proceeding toward its year-end target for entry into service of a revamped A320neo despite problems with a small part on some engines, a senior executive said on Thursday.

The problem involves the maturity of a “snap ring” inside the Pratt & Whitney engines for the first aircraft, which the engine maker plans to replace with a minor modification, Didier Evrard, executive vice president for programmes, told reporters.

The ring is used to keep a seal in place.

“We will not compromise on maturity at all; this would be a very short-term view and we will continue to push ourselves and our suppliers,” Evrard said.

But he said the company’s target of delivering the first plane to Qatar Airways by the end of the year remained a “reasonable” one.

A Pratt & Whitney spokeswoman said the engine maker was addressing the issue, which does not impact other versions of the Pratt engine, known as the geared turbofan, designed for use in other aircraft.

“We are confident that the A320neo with Pratt & Whitney engines will resume flight tests soon, and we remain on track to support an entry into service in the fourth quarter of this year,” the Pratt spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Additional reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York; Editing by Victoria Bryan, Christian Plumb Editing by Leslie Adler)

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