Air New Zealand has selected a next generation Pratt and Whitney engine for its new Airbus fleet in a move that it says will help secure the future of its Christchurch Engine Centre.
The airline said the centre is set for a period of strong growth after this morning announcing it had selected the PurePower PW1100G-JM for its 13 new Airbus A320neo and A321neo aircraft which are due to join its fleet from 2017.
Air New Zealand chief operations officer Bruce Parton said that means the centre will be one of the first facilities in the world with the capability to support the repair and overhaul of the new generation engines.
"The centre has successfully established world class services to overhaul the current V2500 engines on our A320 fleet.
Today's announcement will secure the centre's long-term future.
He said it was good news for the 300 staff in Christchurch.
The airline copped flak in the city last month after announcing it was cutting direct services to Japan.
The Engine Centre is a joint venture between Pratt & Whitney and Air New Zealand and the engine maker's president after-market, Matthew Bromberg, was in Christchurch for the announcement.
"To have Air New Zealand select our world leading new generation engine further builds on the existing engine commitment we have with the airline on its current A320 fleet," Bromberg said.
"The Christchurch Engine Centre also gains the opportunity to develop further capability to support this world leading geared turbine technology engine."
The PurePower engine has a fan drive gear system that allows the engine's fan to operate at slower speeds resulting in significantly lower fuel consumption, emissions and noise.
Pratt & Whitney is based in Hartford, Connecticut and says the new engine can result in double digit fuel savings, a 50 per cent reduction in noise and cuts emissions.
Christchurch Engine Centre general manager Graham Jack said expansion of the centre's capabilities to support the new engine was the result of the hard work of its staff.
"Today's announcement provides confidence in a long term future and growth."
Last year Air New Zealand and Pratt & Whitney invested $20 million in new workshops and a logistics facility at the centre at Christchurch Airport.