Airbus is in discussions with GE for an A350 XWB powerplant, according to executive VP-head of A350 programme, Didier Evrard. He was speaking to the media last week at the annual technical briefing in Toulouse.
So far, the only engine available on the long-range aircraft is Rolls-Royce's Trent XWB. The A350 has secured 362 orders from 22 customers and is scheduled to enter service with the -900 version in 2013.
Evrard declined to put a time line on the discussions and said that the manufacturer is "waiting" for GE to design and offer an engine that meets Airbus's requirements.
Other Airbus officials said that the company had no problem moving forward with the A350 programme with just one engine supplier. However, they said that competition and innovation is always good for both a programme, and customers, and that Airbus would prefer a second engine-maker participate in the A350 programme.