ZHUHAI, China – 3 November 2016 – With more than 20 percent of its total commercial fleet in service with airlines here, China continues to be an important focus for CFM International, both in terms of long-term investments and as an import supplier base.
The first CFM56 engines entered commercial service here in December 1985 with Air China Southwest and China Eastern Yunnan. These CFM56-3 engines powering those Boeing 737 aircraft were among the company’s very first orders.
“The relationship between CFM and China’s aviation industry has continued to evolve and flourish and now goes well beyond customer and engine manufacturer,” said Jean-Paul Ebanga, president and CEO of CFM International. “We are constantly finding new ways to strengthen those ties through investment and collaboration. The LEAP-1C engine for the COMAC C919 is just the latest example of this truly successful partnership.”
In the past 31 years, Greater China has grown to become one of the largest and most important customer bases for CFM in the world, with more than 50 airlines ordering more than 4,800 CFM56 and LEAP engines to power Airbus, Boeing, and COMAC aircraft.
The region remains a critical supplier base for CFM’s parent companies, GE and Safran Aircraft Engines. These two companies purchase more than $500 million U.S. in engine parts for the CFM56 product line from Chinese manufacturers annually. The quality of these parts has been key to the ongoing success of the CFM product line worldwide.
CFM has been heavily invested in the continued growth of the Chinese aviation industry, as well.
The Aero Engine Maintenance Training Center (AEMTC), located in the Civil Aviation Flight College, Guanghan City, and open since 1996, has trained more than 13,000 students. The training provided at the Center – a state-of-the-art 4,500 square meter facility with six engine shop bays and five classrooms – is equivalent to the training provided at the CFM centers in the United States, France, and India. CFM plans to add the LEAP-1C engine training capability, as well.
CFM also provides technical support to Chinese customers from its Fleet Support Center in Shanghai, in addition to an AOG (Aircraft on the Ground) spare parts center in Zhuhai.
Sichuan Services Aero Engines Maintenance Company (SSAMC), a 60/40 joint venture between Air China and CFM, located in Chengdu, China, completes approximately 130 engine overhauls annually and that number is expected to grow 10-15 percent in the next couple of years.
In late 2009, the relationship between CFM and China was taken to a new level when the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) selected CFM’s advanced LEAP-1C engine as the sole Western powerplant for the new C919 single-aisle aircraft.
The LEAP-1C engine incorporates a unique, industry-first fully integrated propulsion system (IPS). CFM provides the engine as well as the nacelle and thrust reverser developed by Nexcelle*. These elements, including the pylon provided by COMAC, were designed in conjunction with each other, resulting in a total system that provides improved aerodynamics, lower weight, and easier maintenance.
About CFM International
CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines , is the world’s leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines and has delivered more than 30,000 CFM56 engines to 550 operators around the globe. Through September 2016, the company had garnered orders and commitments for 11,500 LEAP engines (all models). For more information, visit us at www.cfmaeroengines.com or follow us on Twitter @CFM_engines.
* Nexcelle is a joint venture between Safran Nacelles and GE Aviation’s Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS)