Dubai: Middle East low-cost carrier Air Arabia is in talks with engine makers Pratt & Whitney and its current supplier CFM International for a major jet engine order, with a decision to be made by early 2022, its chief executive said.
General Electric and Safran joint-venture CFM is competing against Raytheon-owned Pratt & Whitney to sell around 240-250 engines for 120 Airbus A320neo jets that the airline ordered at the Dubai Airshow two years ago.
Speaking on the eve of this year's event, Air Arabia Chief Executive Adel Ali told Reuters a decision would probably be made within three to four months, although he hoped an engine type could be selected before the end of the year.
"The discussions have been going on for about six months." CFM is the current engine supplier to the United Arab Emirates-headquartered airline, which operates a fully-owned carrier from UAE's Sharjah and a joint venture from Abu Dhabi.
Air Arabia is due to meet the engine makers at this week's Dubai Airshow, Ali said, although discussions are expected to continue after the five-day aerospace industry event.
The 2019 order for 120 mostly A320neo aircraft but also A321neo and A321XLR variants is more than double its current fleet of about 60 aircraft, with deliveries starting in 2024.
Air Arabia also has joint ventures operating in Egypt and Morocco, and Ali said its recently joint ventures in Pakistan and Armenia would likely start operating the second quarter.