British Airways has placed an order 20 CFM56-3 Advanced Upgrades kits for its 737 Classic fleet. The order is valued at approximately $33 million at list price, and the kits begin delivery early next year. The order could potentially encompass as many as 44 CFM56-3 engines.
CFM56-3 engines are a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) and General Electric Company. Approximately 4,500 CFM56-3 engines in service worldwide; nearly one quarter of those engines have been upgraded.
"We are pleased to be incorporating the CFM56-3 Advanced Upgrade into our 737 fleet," said Willie Walsh, chief executive officer of British Airways. "This engine has served British Airways well in the past, and the upgrade has already proven its value in service around the world. The lower fuel consumption will have an immediate positive impact on our operating economics while helping us control our carbon footprint; both of which are critical in today's environment."
A fully upgraded 10-aircraft fleet will save British Airways approximately 280,000 gallons of fuel per year. That equates to approximately a $750,000 savings at $2.60 per gallon of fuel. The add-on effect of the lower fuel consumption will be that this same fleet will emit 2,700 fewer tons of carbon emissions each year.
The Advanced Upgrade kit features three-dimensional high-pressure compressor (HPC) aerodynamics (3-D aero) and new high-pressure turbine hardware. The upgrade is installed during normal overhaul and provides significant benefits, including: up to a 1.6 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption (which directly impacts fuel burn), as well as up to 25 degrees additional exhaust gas temperature (EGT) margin, which reduces maintenance costs through longer on-wing life.