AB Airlines has become CFM International's newest customer with an order for CFM56-7 engines to power six Boeing Next-Generation 737-700 aircraft. The value of the engine order is approximately $60 million, excluding spares.
The CFM56-7 is produced by CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States. CFM is the world's leading supplier of commercial transport aircraft engines, with sales over the past five years representing 54 percent of commercial aircraft with a capacity of 100 passengers or more. In the first four months of 1998, CFM booked firm orders valued at about $3 billion for more than 600 CFM56 engines. Overall, CFM has received orders and commitments for more than 12,000 engines at a value of more than $50 billion; nearly 9,000 of these engines are currently in service with 237 customers worldwide.
AB Airlines, a London-based scheduled carrier, will take delivery of its new 737 aircraft between 2001 and 2003. In the meantime, the airline has just taken delivery of two leased 737-300 aircraft (powered by the CFM56-3). The 737s will be used to expand AB Airlines' route structure, which currently encompasses the UK, Ireland, France, and Germany. AB Airlines is the first British carrier to purchase Next-Generation 737s.
The first CFM56-7-powered Next-Generation 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft entered service in the U.S. and Europe earlier this year. The 737-600 began certification flight tests in January and will enter service this year as well equipped with CFM's advanced double annular combustor.
The CFM56-7 was certified in December 1996 at 18,500 to 27,300 pounds takeoff thrust. Since the CFM56-7-powered 737 program was launched, it has become the fastest selling engine/aircraft combination in history. Announced orders now stand at more than 900 aircraft.