Engineers work on a LEAP commercial jet test engine at GE Aviation in Evendale in this December 2014 file photo. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

GE, CFM ‘blitz’ competition at Paris Air Show

The deal announcements are coming fast and furious from GE Aviation and CFM International — two companies with a strong Southwestern Ohio presence — from the Paris Air Show this week.

GE Aviation, which employs thousands of people in Southwestern Ohio, has — with its joint-venture partner West Chester Twp.-based jet engine maker CFM International — have announced more than $31 billion in orders at this week’s air show so far.

“This air show has far surpassed all of our expectations,” Gaël Méheust, CFM president and chief executive of CFM, said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Russian company VEB Leasing announced an order for CFM International LEAP-1A engines to power 20 new Airbus A320neo/A321neo aircraft, scheduled to begin delivery in 2019, CFM announced.

CFM also said the leasing company has “firm orders” for LEAP-1B engines for 22 new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2018

CFM values these two agreements at more than $1.2 billion.

RELATEDGE, CFM report billions in new orders

Also Wednesday, CFM said Delta Air Lines ordered CFM56-5B engines to power 10 additional A321ceo aircraft.

These A321s will join more than 200 CFM-powered A319/A320/A321 aircraft that Delta already operates, CFM said.

“This is another fantastic vote of confidence for the entire CFM Team,” Méheust said. “Delta was our first customer and it is highly gratifying that, more than 35 years later, CFM is still the engine of choice for their single-aisle operations.”

RELATEDGE Aviation, CFM go center stage in Paris

CFM International is a 50-50 joint venture between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.

Saj Ahmad, chief analyst for StrategicAero Research, said CFM and GE “have absolutely blitzed the competition into utter irrelevance.”

The companies are announcing tens of billions of dollars worth of LEAP engine deals, Ahmad said, noting that CFM “enjoys a total monopoly on the 737 MAX family” of airplanes.

“The undisputed fact is that customers are trusting LEAP more than they are … anything else out there, and it shows,” Ahmad said in an email.

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