IAE: No V2500 Retirement Surge Expected Over Next Five Years
International Aero Engines (IAE) doesn’t expect any significant increase in V2500 engine retirements over the next five years owing to reasons including OEM production rates and program reliability.
IAE’s president Earl Exum says despite that the average engine age is 13 years old, the V2500 and the Airbus A320 family aircraft it powers is being retired at relatively slow rate, which he attributes to two factors.
“Number one: Airbus and Boeing’s aircraft delivery forecast is very hard to pin down so if you’re putting together a fleet plan, I think you’d want to be cautious about relying on when the aircraft are going to get delivered,” he says.
“Second, the performance of the V2500 is practically guaranteed--you know what your intervals, dispatch reliability, flight shutdown and service levels are going to be. Until you have alternatives that deliver that kind assurance, operators will want to sit on the program they know until they grow confidence in the newer programs."
Exum adds that very few customers are putting together fleet plans that include reducing their V2500-powered A320 fleets, but in the case they are, he says there is strong demand from other operators to pick up those spares. The engine accounts for roughly 50% of commercial narrowbody aircraft market share, according to IAE.
Exum says the program is currently producing engines for the Embraer C-390 Millennium military transport aircraft and for spare engines. This equates to roughly 20 engines per year, which he expects to continue for the next five years.
In terms of commercial aviation maintenance, he says IAE is doing close to 800 shop visits annually but around 30% of V2500 engines haven’t undergone their first shop visit. “We see that continuing to be at that level in the near term,” he says. “If you look at engine flight hours for the narrowbody market, that just grows year over year.”
IAE operates a global network of 17 MRO shops. Despite that the V2500’s Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan successor engine is expected to grow in market share over the next decade, Exum says IAE has no plans to wind down its V2500 operation in the near future.
“We’re too far away from needing to wind down. We are testing the capacity to do more than 800 shop visits and if I could have more shops right now I would,” he says. “Given that we are going to be stable at this rate for several years, it’s not a time to go and invest a whole lot more in facilities, but maybe instead, in tooling and people and our shops that are doing those things. We are where we want to be for the time being.”