China Eastern Airlines today announced that it has selected the CFM56-5B engine to power 30 new Airbus A320 family aircraft; the airline is scheduled to begin taking delivery in March 2011. The firm engine order is valued at approximately $600 million U.S at list price.
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.
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 June 2010, the fleet of more than nearly 3,900 in service worldwide had logged more than 17 million flight hours and 9.6 million flight cycles without a single engine-related event.
CFM56 Tech Insertion provides operators with a 1 percent improvement in fuel consumption over the life of the product, compared to the base CFM56-5B engine. This lower fuel consumption also significantly lowers CO2 emissions. Improved analytic design tools have also enabled CFM to further improve the Tech Insertion combustor such that it emits 25 percent lower NOx emissions and meets the current CAEP/6 industry requirements.
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 21,000 engines to date.