Croatia Airlines has selected the advanced CFM56-5B/P to power six firm Airbus Industrie A319s and six option A319/A320/A321 aircraft in an engine order valued at $150 million.
The CFM56-5B/P is produced by CFM International (CFMI), a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
"We're very happy to have Croatia Airlines join the CFM56 family," said Jean-Pierre Vernon, sales director of Eastern Europe for CFMI. "The airline has been an important part of the growth in commercial aviation in this region, and we are gratified that it has chosen to build its future fleet with CFM56 engines."
Croatia is scheduled to begin taking delivery of the new aircraft in early 1998. The airline operates international passenger and charter service and plans to use the new A319s to support expected growth in tourism along the Adriatic Coast, as well as on some of its longer routes, such as Moscow and Copenhagen.
The CFM56-5B/P, rated at 23,500 pounds thrust for the A319, was certified in mid-1996 and is now the standard production configuration for all CFM56-5B engines. The -5B/P core also serves as the basis for the new CFM56-7 scheduled to enter service later this year. The engine provides significant benefits to operators with improved specific fuel consumption, longer on-wing life, and lower maintenance costs, which translate to very low direct operating costs.