SEATTLE, WASHINGTON May 14, 2004 In a ceremony here today, ATA Airlines (ATA) took delivery of the 1,500th CFM56-7-powered Boeing Next-Generation 737 airplane. The first Next-Generation 737 was delivered to Southwest Airlines in December 1997; reaching this milestone in just over six years represents the fastest ramp up of any in-service fleet in commercial aviation history.
The CFM56-7 is produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) and General Electric Company, and is the exclusive powerplant for the Boeing 737-600/-700/ -800/ -900.
ATA placed its first order for CFM56-powered aircraft in May 2000 when it ordered 20 Boeing 737s. Today, the airline operates a fleet of 32 737-800 aircraft.
"The program has been a fantastic success and we are proud to be a part of it," said Pierre Fabre, president and CEO of CFM International. "Boeing and CFM have developed an airplane/engine combination that provides exceptional reliability and operating economics for our customers."
The worldwide CFM56-7 fleet has accumulated nearly 30 million engine flight hours and 14 million flight cycles and maintains industry-leading reliability. The aircraft's 99.96 percent dispatch reliability rate translates to less than one departure per 2,000 flights being delayed 15 minutes or more or canceled. In addition, the engine has an in-flight shutdown rate of 0.002, translating to one in-flight shutdown every 500,000 flight hours. To put this number into perspective, these airplanes accumulate an average of about 3,000 hours each year. A rate of 0.002 means that a CFM56-7-powered 737 would exerience an in-flight shutdown every 165 years.
In addition to the commercial 737 applications, the CFM56-7 also powers the Boeing Business Jet. The first military application, the C-40A is currently in service with the U.S. Naval Reserve. The aircraft is a modified 737-700 combination passenger and freighter airplane which was designed to replace the Navy's C-9 fleet. A second military application, the 737 Airborne Early Warning & Control (AEW&C) aircraft, will enter service with the Australian Defense Force in 2006. The "green" aircraft was certified in 2003 in preparation for installation of radar and other electronic hardware. Boeing is scheduled to begin flight tests in mid-2004.