• Plans to use new fleet for replacement and growth strategy
PANAMA CITY, Panama — 10 April 2015 – At a special signing ceremony here today witnessed by Panama President Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez and U.S. President Barack Obama, Copa Airlines announced an order for 122 CFM LEAP-1B engines to power 61 Boeing 737 MAX 8 & 9 aircraft. The engine order is valued at more than $1.6 billion U.S. at list price.
“We are proud to continue our long-standing relationship with CFM,” said Pedro Heilbron, chief executive officer for Copa. “The Next-Generation 737 with CFM56-7B engines is the backbone of our current fleet and this order for the 737 MAX shows our continued commitment to providing our passengers with the most modern, fuel efficient aircraft/engine combination available today.”
"It is great to be here today to help celebrate this order and launch the next phase of our very successful relationship with Copa Airlines,” said David Joyce, president and CEO of GE Aviation, a CFM parent company, at the ceremony. "CFM has been fortunate to be the exclusive engine supplier for the Boeing 737 aircraft for more than 30 years and we are excited to bring the benefits of the LEAP-1B, including a major improvement in fuel efficiency, coupled with CFM's legendary reliability, to Copa. We believe it will be a real asset to support the airlines growth plans.”
Copa Airlines first became a CFM customer in 1999 with an order for eight CFM56-7B-powered 737s and today operates a fleet of 78 Next-Generation 737 in service or on order. Today’s order will expand the airline’s CFM engines fleet to 278 engines.
The LEAP-1B engines powering Copa's 737 MAX aircraft represent the new state-of-the-art in engine technology. The foundation of the LEAP engine is heavily rooted in advanced aerodynamics, environmental, and materials technology development programs. It will provide double-digit improvements in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to today’s best CFM engine, along with dramatic reductions in engine noise and emissions. All this technology brings with it CFM’s legendary reliability and low maintenance costs.
The first full LEAP-1B engine began ground testing in July 2014, three days ahead of schedule, as part of the most extensive ground and flight test certification program in CFM's history. The total program, which encompasses all three LEAP engine variants, includes 28 ground and CFM flight test engines, along with a total of 32 flight test engines for the aircraft manufacturers. Over the next three years, these engines will accumulate approximately 40,000 engine cycles leading up to entry into service. By the time this engine enters service, CFM will have simulated more than 15 years of airline service with 60 different engine builds.
CFM has been the sole engine supplier for all Boeing 737 aircraft models since 1981 and the company selected the LEAP-1B as the sole powerplant for the 737 MAX in 2011. A total of 5,448 LEAP-1B engines have been ordered to date to power the 2,724 MAX aircraft family.
About CFM International
CFM56 and LEAP engines are products of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and GE. CFM is the world’s leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines, with nearly 27,800 delivered to about 550 operators around the globe. For more information, visit us at www.cfmaeroengines.com or follow us on Twitter @CFM_engines.
About Copa Airlines:
Copa Airlines allows passengers to make fast and convenient connections to 73 destinations in 30 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean through its Hub of the Americas in Panama City, the most internationally connected airline hub in the region. The airline was recognized in 2014 as “Best Airline in Latin America” for its on-time performance and quality of service by FlightStats in the region for the second consecutive year.