EVENDALE, OHIO October 14, 2004 Air China announced this week a $66 million order for CFM56-5B engines to power six additional Airbus A319 aircraft. The order will more than double the airline's CFM-powered A319 fleet when the new aircraft are delivered in 2005; Air China currently operates five CFM-powered A319s.
CFM56-5B engines are produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) and General Electric Company. CFM, celebrating its 30th anniversary, is the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines.
Air China, a long-time CFM customer, is the largest commercial airline in China. In addition to the A319s, the airline also operates a fleet of 42 Boeing 737s powered by CFM56-3 and CFM56-7 engines, in addition to three long-range, four-engine Airbus A340-300 aircraft powered by the CFM56-5C. The new A319s will be operated on routes to altitude airports such as Lhasa in Tibet.
The high reliability, long on-wing life, and low maintenance costs of the CFM56-5 makes it extremely popular with leasing companies, low-cost carriers, and major airlines worldwide. About 1,700 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 (with a 0.001 in-flight shutdown rate) durability, and low cost of ownership brought about by the engines simple, rugged architecture. CFM56-5 engines are averaging nearly 16,000 hours on wing prior to initial shop visit, and more than 10,000 hours after overhaul. No competing engine in this thrust class can match this record. On average, CFM56-5B engines have a maintenance cost advantages of nearly $2 million per engine over a 15-year period versus the competition.
The CFM56-5B is the only engine that can power every model of the A320 family keeping the same bill of materials, giving airlines a distinct commonality advantage.