Air France has selected the CFM56-5B to power 15 firm, 10 option Airbus Industrie A318 aircraft in an engine order valued at $150 million. The decision effectively launches the CFM56-5B as a powerplant for the new A318, the smallest model in the A320 family. Air France, a long-time CFM customer, is scheduled to receive its first airplane in 2003.
CFM International is a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
The CFM56-5 launched each A320 aircraft model in service and has been chosen to power more than 60 percent of the Airbus A319/A320/A321 aircraft ordered since the program began.
Air France launched the CFM56-5-powered A320 and took delivery of its first aircraft in April 1988; it was the first to operate all three A320 models. The airline, which is CFM's second largest European customer, has the largest A320 fleet in service, with 86 airplanes flying today. The CFM56-5B will provide Air France with significant commonality benefits for its short-haul fleet, including training, tooling, and maintenance cost advantages.