GUANGZHUO, CHINA April 9, 2004 China Southern Airlines today announced that it has selected the CFM56-5B engine to power 21 Airbus A320 family aircraft. The order, which includes engines for 15 A320s and six A319s, is valued at just over $250 million.
China Southern, one of the largest airlines operating in The People's Republic of China, operates more than 3,200 flights each week on more than 660 domestic and international routes. The airline will begin taking delivery of the CFM56-powered A320s later this year, with deliveries extending through 2007.
The CFM56-5B is produced by CFM International. CFM, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) of France and General Electric Company, is the world's leading supplier of commercial transport engines. There are currently more than 14,100 in service worldwide. Of these, more than 800 are in service in China powering Airbus A320 and A340 and Boeing 737 aircraft for 15 Chinese airlines.
"We've formed a great working relationship with China Southern over the years," said Li Hsi, President of CFM International, Greater China Region. "The CFM56-3 and CFM56-7 engines have performed well in their fleet, and we are honored that the CFM56-5B is the engine of choice for their modernized A320 fleet."
Headquartered in Guangzhou, China Southern is a long-time CFM customer. The airline took delivery of its first CFM56-3-powered 737 in January 1991 and today operates a fleet of 55 CFM56-powered 737 aircraft. This fleet has accumulated more than 2 million flight hours with some of the highest reliability ratings in the industry. This is the first order for CFM-powered A320 family aircraft.
As the only engine that can power every model of the A320 family with the same bill of materials, the CFM56-5B provides airlines a distinct commonality advantage, in addition to the lowest cost of operation on this application. The CFM56-5 continues to be the engine of choice for the Airbus A320 family, having been selected to power 57 percent of all A320 family aircraft ordered to date. The high reliability, long on-wing life, and low maintenance costs of the CFM56 engine family make these engines extremely popular with leasing companies. One of the primary factors behind the engine's broad-based market acceptance has been its simple, rugged architecture, which gives it the highest reliability, durability, and repairability in its class.