Safran CEO sees end of LEAP engine delivery delays in first-quarter

FILE PHOTO: Safran Chief Executive Philippe Petitcolin speaks at aircraft engine maker's Safran site ahead of the signing of the first contracts for joint multi-billion euros programme to develop a next-generation combat jet in Gennevilliers, France, February 6, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - Engine maker CFM International has erased delays in deliveries of its LEAP jet engine for Airbus, but similar delays for Boeing will not be eliminated until the second quarter, said the head of co-owner Safran.

Safran and General Electric co-own CFM, which is ramping up production of the LEAP engine deployed on all Boeing 737 MAX models and about half of the Airbus A320neo family. It has said it is running about a month behind on deliveries.

Safran Chief Executive Philippe Petitcolin said deliveries for Airbus had stabilized at about 15-17 engines a week, in line with schedules.

“For Boeing it is a bit different as they started (a switchover of models) a year later and there we are still in a strong growth phase of deliveries,” he told reporters.

CFM is also delivering about 20 engines a week to Boeing but needs to reach 30 a week by mid-year.

While output for Boeing has stabilized, some delays remain in the system because of the speed of the ramp-up, and these won’t disappear until the second quarter, Petitcolin added.

Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta