Airbus sees more sales as revamped A320neo prepares flight debut

Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:30am EDT
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TOULOUSE, France, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Airbus predicted more jetliner sales and said it was confident in the performance of a new Pratt & Whitney engine as it prepared the first flight of a revamped version of its best-selling A320 airliner on Thursday.

An on-ground failure and fire on a similar engine halted testing of Bombardier's CSeries in May and flight testing of that jetliner resumed earlier this month.

"Pratt & Whitney have been very transparent with us and given us all the detailed differences and we are satisfied and confident in the performance of the engine and aircraft," Fernando Alonso, head of Airbus flight operations, said when asked about the differences between the two engines.

Airbus sales chief John Leahy said Airbus, which had sold 3,257 of the newly upgraded A320neo by the end of August, expected to top 3,500 sales by the end of the year. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Natalie Huet)