April 5, 2018 / 7:20 PM / in a year

Pratt & Whitney wins JetBlue engine order

FILE PHOTO: The logo of United Technologies and their subsidiary Pratt & Whitney is pictured in San Diego, California April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. airline JetBlue Airways Corp (JBLU.O) said on Thursday it has awarded Pratt & Whitney a contract to supply engines for its total fleet of 85 Airbus (AIR.PA) A320neo aircraft, more than doubling the carrier’s previous contract with the engine maker.

Pratt & Whitney is owned by Connecticut-based United Technologies Corp (UTX.N). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The new agreement adds 45 aircraft to an earlier arrangement under which Pratt agreed to supply JetBlue with engines for 40 twin-engine jets. The deal also includes 13 spare engines and maintenance of the products.

“Number one was making sure that we had the right engine with the right technology for the future of JetBlue,” JetBlue Chief Financial Officer Steve Priest said in an interview on Thursday.

Pratt beat out rival General Electric (GE.N) for the order, in a boost to the manufacturer after earlier issues with the engine.

Some Pratt A320neo deliveries were halted after problems arose in January, which Pratt had said stemmed from an engineering change it made last summer to the “knife-edge seal” in the high-pressure compressor near the rear of the engine.

“There have been some teething issues with the engines that have been well-publicized, but the one thing I will say: the trust that we have with Pratt is fantastic. They have been incredibly transparent about what those issues have been,” Priest said.

JetBlue plans to begin taking delivery of the A320neo jets in 2019.

Reporting by Alana Wise in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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