Air Namibia, the national airline of Namibia, today announced that it has selected CFM International's CFM56-5B engine to power two new Airbus A319 aircraft. The airline signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus in October 2011 and, pending finalization of that contract, the aircraft will be delivered in 2012. The engine order is valued at approximately $40 million U.S. at list price.
Air Namibia has been operating CFM-powered aircraft since the early 1990s and operates a fleet of four CFM-powered Airbus A319 and Boeing 737-500 single-aisle aircraft, as well as two long-range, four-engine Airbus A340-300 aircraft. The airline, which recently began implementing a new business plan that seeks to achieve profitability in five years' time, operates scheduled domestic, regional, and international passenger and cargo services to more than 30 destinations throughout Africa and select destinations in Europe.
All of Air Namibia's new engines will be the CFM56-5B Performance Improvement Package (PIP) configuration. The -5B PIP completed extensive ground testing and more than 26 hours of flight testing on the A320. The engine, which is the new production configuration for the CFM56-5B, entered service earlier this month.
The improvements, which provide a 0.5% improvement in fuel burn, include hardware changes to the core, including new high-pressure turbine blade, as well as manufacturing changes the fan and compressor blades and vanes to improve performance retention. The engine will maintain the same noise signature as the current production engine. These engines also meet current International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Committee of Aviation Environmental Protection standards (CAEP /6) requirements.
CFM56-5B engines are a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran group) and GE. CFM, the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines, has delivered nearly 23,000 engines to date. The CFM56-5B engine powers every model of the Airbus A320 family and has been chosen to power nearly 60 percent of all A320 aircraft in service or on order.