Chinese flag carrier Air China today announced that it has selected the CFM56-5B engine to power 20 firm Airbus A320 aircraft. The agreement is valued at approximately $600 million U.S. at list price, including a long-term maintenance agreement.
In addition to the new engine order, Air China also signed a Rate Per Flight Hour (RPFH) agreement with CFM to provide comprehensive maintenance service for the CFM56 engines in the airline's fleet under which CFM will guarantee maintenance costs on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.
Air China, which is scheduled to begin taking delivery of the new aircraft in 2011, is the largest commercial airline in China and has been a long-time CFM customer. In addition to the 20 A320s announced today, the airline's current fleet includes 55 Airbus A320 and 118 Boeing 737 family aircraft powered by CFM56-5B and CFM56-3/7B engines, respectively, as well as six long-range, four-engine Airbus A340-300 aircraft powered by the CFM56-5C.
"We are very pleased to continue our long relationship with CFM," said He Li, Vice President of Air China. "We already have a big CFM56-powered fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and the operating economics and the outstanding reliability of this engine have been enabling us save our costs and assure our customers of the very highest level of service that we can provide."
The high reliability, long on-wing life, and low maintenance costs of the CFM56-5B make it extremely popular with major airlines, low-cost carriers, and leasing companies worldwide. All of China Eastern's new CFM56-5B engines are of the Tech Insertion configuration. This configuration was introduced in September 2007 and, through June 2010, the fleet of more than nearly 3,900 in service worldwide had logged more than 17 million flight hours and 9.6 million flight cycles without a single engine-related event.
CFM56 Tech Insertion provides operators with a 1 percent improvement in fuel consumption over the life of the product, compared to the base CFM56-5B engine. This lower fuel consumption also significantly lowers CO2 emissions. Improved analytic design tools have also enabled CFM to further improve the Tech Insertion combustor such that it emits 25 percent lower NOx emissions and the engine meets the current International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Committee of Aviation Environment Protection standards (CAEP /6) that took effect in early 2008.
CFM56-5B engines are a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and GE. CFM, the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines, has delivered 21,000 engines to date.