In a special ceremony here today, China Eastern Airlines and CFM International formalized the airline's order for CFM56-5B engine to power 30 new Airbus A320 family aircraft. The order, valued at approximately $600 million U.S at list price, was originally announced at the 2010 Farnborough Air Show and the airline is scheduled to begin taking delivery in March 2011.
Together with the engine selection, China Eastern also signed a long-term RPFH (Rate per Flight Hour) agreement with CFM to provide comprehensive maintenance service for the CFM56 engines in the airline's fleet under which CFM will guarantee maintenance costs on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.
For its existing fleet, China Eastern has also signed a 15-year material agreement that will provide a full range of new, used, and repaired material offerings tailored to the specific requirements of each individual engine overhaul.
China Eastern became a CFM customer in 1994 with an order for five CFM56-5C-powered long-range, four-engine Airbus A340 aircraft. Today, the airline is CFM's largest customer in China, currently operating about 500 CFM56-3/-5B/-5C and -7B engines.
"We are honored by China Eastern's selection of the CFM56-5B engine," said Eric Bachelet, president and CEO of CFM. "China Eastern and CFM have a long-standing relationship, and this engine selection demonstrates the continued confidence the airline has in our products and services."
The high reliability, long on-wing life, and low maintenance costs of the CFM56-5 make it extremely popular with major airlines, low-cost carriers, and leasing companies worldwide. All of China Eastern's new CFM56-5B engines are of the Tech Insertion configuration. This configuration was introduced in September 2007 and, through October 2010, the fleet of more than 1,600 CFM56-5B engines in service worldwide had logged more than seven million flight hours and four million flight cycles without a single engine-related event.
CFM56-5B engines are a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran group) and GE. CFM, the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines, has delivered 21,450 engines to date.