VIENNA, AUSTRIA December 22, 2004 Airline partners Air Berlin and NIKI Luftfahrt today announced that the CFM56-5B engine will power the 70 firm, 40 option Airbus A320 aircraft ordered by the airlines in November. The engine order is valued at approximately $1.5 billion at list price, including spare engines.
The CFM56-5B, which is the engine of choice for the Airbus A320 family, is produced by CFM International. CFM is a 50/50 joint company of Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) and General Electric Company and the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines.
"We're very pleased and honored by the confidence NIKI and Air Berlin have placed in CFM," said Claude Poulain, senior vice president of sales and marketing for CFM. "We're also delighted that we will continue our long relationship with such dynamic entrepreneurs as Niki Lauda, CEO of NIKI, and Joachim Hunold, CEO of Air Berlin."
Delivery of the new aircraft, which are part of extensive fleet renewal and expansion plans for both airlines, is scheduled to begin in September 2005. The two airlines began a partnership in early 2004, when Air Berlin took a 24 percent take in NIKI. Air Berlin, Germany's second biggest airline, will take delivery of 60 of the firm aircraft while NIKI, the Vienna, Austria, based budget carrier, will take delivery of the remaining ten.
The high reliability, long on-wing life, and low maintenance costs of the CFM56-5B make it extremely popular with leasing companies, low-cost carriers, and major airlines worldwide. More than 1,700 CFM56-5B engines have been delivered to date, and the fleet is growing at a rate of about 20 engines per month.