Airtours Places CFM56-5B Engine Order

March 26, 2001

Airtours Aviation has selected CFM56-5B engines to power 21 new Airbus Industrie A320/A321 aircraft. The engine order is valued at $90 million.

CFM56-5B engines are produced by CFM International, the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines for 100+ passenger aircraft and a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.

Airtours Aviation is the aircraft operating branch of Airtours, PLC, an inclusive tour operator based in the United Kingdom. The company was formed in 1986 and operates routes throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, and North and South America from bases in Britain, Scandinavia and Germany.

Airtours already operates four CFM56-5B-powered A321s. The new aircraft, which are scheduled to begin delivery in 2003, will be used to phase out its current V2500-powered A320s and to replace leased CFM56-5A-powered aircraft.

"We have been very pleased with the reliability and low maintenance cost of our CFM56-5A engines," said Mike Lee, chairman of Airtours Aviation. "Last year, one CFM56-5A in service with our Scandinavian subsidiary, Premair, set a new record for time on wing, logging more than 30,000 flight hours before removal. We fully expect the CFM56-5B to be as good as its predecessor."

The CFM56-5 engines have been chosen to power nearly 60 percent of the Airbus A320 family aircraft ordered. One of the primary factors behind the CFM56-5's broad-based market acceptance has been its simple, rugged architecture, which gives it the highest reliability, durability, and repairability in its class. CFM56-5 engines average nearly 17,000 flight hours before an initial shop visit.

"We are very pleased by Airtours continued endorsement of our products," said Malcolm Forrest, vice president of International Sales for CFM. "Its decision to expand its A320 fleet with CFM firmly establishes the CFM56 as the engine of choice for inclusive tour operators. These airlines expose engines to some of the most demanding conditions in the industry - extremely high daily utilization, full, heavy aircraft - and we're proud that the CFM56 family lives up to this challenge."

Jamie Jewell

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Charles Soret

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Perry Bradley

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Talal Ahmed Almahmood

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