GE-Safran Venture Wins $2 Billion Qantas Engine Order

General Electric Co. (GE)’s jet-engine venture with Safran SA won a $2 billion order to power 78 single-aisle Airbus SAS jets for Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN)’s discount carrier Jetstar.

The first A320neo carrying the Leap-1A will be delivered in 2016, according to a statement today by the partnership, CFM International. The commitment brought total orders for the Leap family of engines to more than 3,500, the company said.

CFM is competing with United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney to equip the A320neo, which Airbus markets as a more fuel-efficient version of the world’s best-selling narrow-body commercial airplane. Both Airbus and rival Boeing Co. are offering more efficient engines on their single-aisle jets as fuel costs surpass labor to become airlines’ biggest expense.

“The Leap engine was chosen for our new A320neo aircraft because of its performance, fuel efficiency and maintenance program,” Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said in the statement.

Boeing’s upgrade of its single-aisle 737 offers only the CFM engine, while Airbus’s A320 carries Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbofan as well. Geared turbofan engine sales reached 2,350 at the end of 2011, the United Technologies told investors and analysts at a meeting last month.

Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE’s aviation unit accounted for 20 percent, or $18.9 billion, of its $94 billion in industrial revenue last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Catts in New York at tcatts1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net

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