Airbus is expected to make a decision on whether or not the A320 aircraft will require a re-engining that will make it commercially strong against growing competition from the Bombardier CSeries and Comac C919.

The re-engining would introduce a new powerplant along with the already-approved winglet upgrade that could improve its fuel-burn by 15%.

Airbus CEO Tom Enders was quoted by Aviation Week as saying that he expects a decision this year on whether or not to re-engine, and also on the choice of potential powerplants.

Airbus is in talks with CFM International for an advanced turbofan, with Rolls-Royce on a three-shaft architecture, with Pratt & Whitney on the geared turbofan and with International Aero Engines for a two-shaft engine.

Technical assessments are now underway, with a plan to select the preferred designs to take forward around the end of March.

The firm is studying ways to maximise fan-diameter to deliver the highest possible bypass ratio and the decision is subject to commercial discussions with the various engine providers.

Airbus will modify the wingbox and incorporate wing changes as a part of a winglet upgrade that will also aid in fitting the new engine.

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Airbus plans to begin delivering the re-engined aircraft by the second half of 2015 if a approval is given this year.