LE BOURGET, June 15, 2005 Air Cairo today announced its intent to purchase CFM56-5B/P engines to power six Airbus A318 aircraft in an engine order valued about $75 million.
CFM56-5B/P engines are produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) and General Electric Company. CFM, the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines, is the engine of choice for the Airbus A320 family, winning 57 percent of the orders in 2004 and 58 percent through May 29 in 2005.
Once the order if finalized, Air Cairo will become CFM's newest customer and, potentially, the first A318 operator in the Middle East. The airline is scheduled to begin delivery in the third quarter of 2006. Air Cairo, which is majority owned by Egyptair, plans to use the new A318s to support its domestic operations as well as on regional routes throughout the Middle East.
"We will be very pleased to welcome Air Cairo as a new CFM operator," said Zair Abderrahim, CFM vice president for Middle East and North and West Africa. "The airline will reap the significant benefits of the CFM56-5B/P, including high reliability, low cost, and ease of maintenance. Once this order is finalized, it will be the first airline in the Middle East to purchase the A318, thus opening the door to a growing market for 100-passenger aircraft that we see developing in the region. We're honored that Air Cairo wishes to make CFM a part of it."
The high reliability, long on-wing life, and low maintenance costs of the CFM56-5 make it extremely popular with major airlines, low-cost carriers, and leasing companies worldwide. More than 1,850 CFM56-5B engines have been delivered to date, and the fleet is growing at a rate of about 20 engines per month.
Primary factors behind the engine's broad-based market acceptance include this industry's best reliability, durability, and low cost of ownership brought about by the engine's simple, rugged architecture. The CFM56-5B is the only engine that can power every model of the A320 family, from the small A318 up to the A321, with the same bill of materials, giving airlines a significant commonality advantage.