June 1, 2014 / 1:55 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Airbus says A320neo jet schedule unaffected by Bombardier engine problem

* Sales chief says not affected by Bombardier issue

* Air New Zealand places order for 14 jets (Recasts with Airbus comments on A320 schedule, adds Air New Zealand CEO comments)

DOHA, June 1 (Reuters) - European planemaker Airbus said the schedule for its A320neo jet was unaffected after smaller rival Bombardier called a halt to testing on its CSeries jet, which uses a similar engine to that planned for the A320neo.

“It should not affect us in the slightest, this is a different engine,” sales chief John Leahy told journalists after Airbus on Sunday signed a purchase order with Air New Zealand for 14 jets.

Bombardier Inc’s new CSeries jetliner suffered an “engine-related incident” during stationary maintenance testing on Thursday and the company said it was investigating the incident with engine maker Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

The A320neo, Airbus’s revamped version of its popular narrowbody A320 jet, will be powered by a Pratt engine similar to the CSeries.

“It’s unfortunate to see something like that happening but it’s not affecting us,” Leahy added.

The Air New Zealand order, worth $1.6 billion at list prices, comprises 10 A320neo aircraft, one A320ceo, and three A321neo aircraft. The planes will be deployed on the airline’s Tasman and Pacific Island services, Air New Zealand Chief Executive Christopher Luxon said.

A decision on the engines would be made by the end of the year, he said.

Reuters had reported the airline was close to an order on Saturday.

At the signing event, which took place during the International Air Transport Association’s annual meeting in Doha, Airbus’s Leahy also said the planemaker was close to a decision on whether to revamp its 20-year old A330 model.

“We’re studying it very carefully. Watch this space,” Leahy told journalists.

Luxon also said Air New Zealand’s first 787-9 Boeing Dreamliner plane was due to arrive in mid-July and it would be employed on routes to Perth. The airline is the launch customer for the stretched version of the Dreamliner. It is due to receive a further two Dreamliners before the end of the year and these will be used on routes to Shanghai and Tokyo. (Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Praveen Menon and Susan Fenton)

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