Northwest Airlines has selected the CFM56-5A engine to power its fleet of 50 new Airbus Industrie A319 aircraft in a firm engine order valued at $500 million. As part of the same purchase, the airline also reserved options for engines to power up to 100 additional A319s.
The CFM56 family is produced by CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
Northwest Airlines is the largest North American operator of A320 aircraft, with 50 CFM56-5A-powered A320s currently in service and 20 additional aircraft still on order. The new A319s are scheduled to begin delivery in mid-1999 and continue through the year 2003.
"We are very proud of the successful, long-term relationship between CFM International and Northwest," said John F. Welch, chairman and chief executive officer of General Electric Company. "Northwest has entrusted CFM with its single-aisle aircraft fleet well into the next century, and our commitment is to prove every day that they made the right choice."
The A319s will be powered by the 22,000-pound-thrust CFM56-5A4, which is completely common with the -5A1 engines powering the airline's A320 aircraft. The A320 family was launched into revenue service with the CFM56-5 engine in 1988. Since then, CFM56-powered A319/A320/A321 aircraft have logged nearly 10 million flight hours with some of the best reliability ratings in the industry.