FARNBOROUGH, England July 16, 2008 Pakistan's AirBlue has placed a $185 million order for CFM56-5B engines to power 14 Airbus A320 aircraft scheduled for delivery from 2009. In addition, airline has signed an integrated services package that will cover the maintenance, overhaul, and repair of this fleet.
CFM56-5B engines are produced by CFM International, the 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) and General Electric Company.
The details of the service agreement are not being disclosed at this time.
"AirBlue came to CFM and asked us to provide an integrated proposal: engines and services," said Eric Bachelet. "The airline wanted to focus on its core efficiency of moving passenger; we were happy to work with them to achieve this goal. We look forward to growing this new relationship together."
AirBlue was launched in 2004 and in 2007 carried one million passengers on domestic flights, or about 35 percent of the nation's passenger volume. It launched a daily flight from Karachi to Dubai in 2005 and now operates 21 weekly flights from Dubai to four Pakistani cities. The airline plans to add 14 more flights from Pakistan to Dubai. AirBlue also operates a daily flight between Islamabad and Manchester, England, using Airbus A321 aircraft.
All of AirBlue's new CFM56-5B engines will be in the Tech Insertion configuration. This technology will provide 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 will also lower CO2, reducing these emissions by 200 tons per aircraft per year. Improved analytic design tools have also enabled CFM to further optimize the Tech Insertion combustor so that it will provide 25 percent lower NOx emissions.
Over the engine's life cycle, Tech Insertion will also provide operators with longer time on wing and will lower maintenance costs by between five and 12 percent, depending on the thrust rating. These benefits are achieved through improvements to the high-pressure compressor and the high- and low-pressure turbines.