GE Aerospace To Become An Independent Company

General Electric has announced board approval for the separation of its energy segment, enabling the Aerospace division to operate as an independent company starting in April. This division, based in the US, manufactures engines for aircraft such as the Boeing 747-8, 777-300ER, and 787. Starting April 2, 2024, this unit will operate as GE Aerospace, concentrating exclusively on engine production, propulsion, and associated systems. This reorganization aligns with General Electric’s strategy to divest its renewable energy and electrical power manufacturing arm into GE Vernova, also finalized by April 2.

Photo by GE Aerospace

“Today’s announcement clears the way for the historic launches of GE Vernova and GE Aerospace, completing our transformation into three independent, investment-grade industry leaders, GE Aerospace is set up to define flight for today, tomorrow, and the future”.

GE Aerospace Chief Executive Officer Henry Lawrence Culp, Jr.

Prior to this announcement, in July 2022, GE rebranded its aviation division as GE Aerospace. The plan to divide the company into three specialized entities focusing on healthcare, energy, and aerospace was initially made public in November 2021. The separation of GE HealthCare Technologies was finalized on January 4, 2023.

General Electric (GE)’s production line

Photo by GE Aerospace

GE Aerospace and its partnerships boast over 40,000 commercial and 26,000 military aircraft engines in service. Their portfolio includes engines such as the CFM Leap, used in the 737 MAX, A320neo series, and COMAC C919, as well as the CFM56, which powers the A320ceo and 737NG.

For larger aircraft, the GEnx engine is used in the 747-8 and 787, while the GE9x has been chosen for the 777X program. The GE90, powering the 777-300ER, 777-200LR, and 777-200ER, remains the most powerful commercial engine available.

The timing

The announcement coincides with a period of difficulty for airlines operating newer engine models, leading to the suspension of pilot training by carriers such as JetBlue, Spirit, and Southwest.

Boeing continues to seek certification for its 777X project, which has experienced several delays and increased regulatory oversight due to safety concerns linked to the production of the 737 MAX. Both aircraft models, implicated in Boeing’s recent challenges, use engines produced by GE.

Photo by GE Aerospace

Additionally, manufacturing high-bypass engines presents its own set of challenges, highlighted by the recent requirement for mandatory inspections of Pratt & Whitney engines on the A321neo. These inspections have led to delays and capacity reductions for some airlines.

The effects of GE Aerospace’s transition to an independent company on employee benefits, salaries, or the locations of its facilities remain uncertain.

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