PANAMA CITY, Panama August 26, 2002 In a ceremony here today, COPA (Compania Panamena de Aviacion) signed an agreement to purchase six firm, six option CFM56-7-powered Boeing 737-700/-800 aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2003 and 2004. The order, including both firm and option aircraft, could potentially be worth $120 million.
The CFM56-7 engine is produced by CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States and is the world's leading supplier of engines for commercial aircraft with a capacity of 100 passengers or more.
COPA, Panama's major commercial airline, launched the CFM56-7-powered 737 in Central America in 1999 with a firm order for eight 737s. Four of these aircraft have been delivered and the airline is leasing five additional 737s. COPA has been using these aircraft to expand its route structure into the entire region, especially the southern cone of South America, and to replace 737-200 aircraft. Based on its long-term fleet plan, the airline could eventually operate as many as 24 Next-Generation 737s.
CFM is also assisting COPA in a program to retrofit is current fleet of 737-700s with winglets, which will allow the airline to operate at more flexible thrust ratings. The airline took delivery of the first production 737 with winglets earlier this month.
Since entering revenue service in January 1998, nearly 1,200 CFM56-7-powered 737s have been delivered and this fleet has logged more than 14 million flight hours and seven million cycles. The CFM56-7 engine was developed to provide 737 operators with substantial improvements versus the industry-leading CFM56-3 on the classic 737, including dramatically lower operating costs, better performance, higher reliability, and improved operability. By incorporating such advanced technology as three-dimensional aero design, a high efficiency wide chord fan, and advanced electronic engine control, the CFM56-7 has fulfilled that promise in service.