3-powered Boeing 737 aircraft in service with Air New Zealand has achieved a major milestone, logging nearly 450,000 engine flight hours and 270,000 flight cycles without a single shop visit, in-flight shutdown, aborted takeoff, or air turn back.
Air New Zealand operates one of the world's most extensive ETOPS (Extended-range, Twin-engine Operations) route structures with its B737 fleet. ETOPS, which is granted based on demonstrated engine reliability, is defined as the number of minutes flying time a twin-engine aircraft may operate from a suitably sized airport in the event that one engine becomes inoperative. Air New Zealand's aircraft, which are approved for 120-minute ETOPS operation, have logged 147,400 hours and 46,300 cycles under ETOPS conditions.
CFM56 engines are produced by CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) of France and General Electric Company, and the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines.
Air New Zealand jointly operates a total of 19 Boeing 737-300s with its subsidiary, Freedom Air, on domestic, New Zealand-Australia, and Pacific island routes. In August, after more than six years of operation, Air New Zealand removed its first CFM56-3 engine for a shop visit. The engine, which entered service in March 1997, logged 26,809 hours and 11,271 cycles. The high-time engine in the fleet, which is still on wing, has logged more than 32,037 hours and 12,249 cycles without a shop visit.
"Everyone on the entire CFM Team salutes Air New Zealand on reaching this impressive milestone," said Pierre Fabre, president and CEO of CFM International. "We believe that we build the most reliable engines in the industry, but we fully understand that it is our customers that keep them flying day in and day out. Obviously, Air New Zealand's line maintenance team has done an exemplary job supporting this fleet."
Air New Zealand, a member of the Star Alliance, has been in operation since 1940 and currently serves 45 destinations worldwide.
The CFM56-3-powered 737s in service have logged a total of 126 million flight hours and 90 million cycles since the first airplanes were delivered in 1984. During this time, the CFM56-3 has consistently raised the standards for engine dependability and reliability. The fleet has a 99.98 percent dispatch reliability rate, which translates to less than one departure per 5,000 being delayed or cancelled for engine related issues.
The engine also maintains a 0.002 in-flight shutdown rate, or one event every 500,000 flight hours; this aircraft logs between 2,500 to 3,500 flight hours per year. CFM shipped the last installed CFM56-3 in 1999 after a production run of more than 4,400 engines.