Bahrain's national carrier Gulf Air has chosen CFM56-5B engines to power 15 new Airbus A320 family aircraft scheduled for delivery between late 2009 and 2012.
The engines are the product of CFM International (CFM), a joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) and General Electric Company, and the order is valued at US $270 million.
"Gulf Air is a long-time CFM customer and selecting this engine demonstrates our continued trust and confidence in this product's excellent technical capability. It also demonstrates our long-standing relationship with CFM who has powered our existing A320 and A340 fleet with superior reliability," says Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Mr. Bjorn Naf.
"The CFM manufactured engines are not new to Gulf Air; we have been operating CFM56-5A and -5B powered single-aisle Airbus A320 and long-range, four-engine CFM56-5C powered A340-300 aircraft for many years now and we know the product well," concluded Mr. Naf.
All of Gulf Air's CFM56-5B engines are the Tech Insertion configuration. This configuration was introduced in September 2007 and, to date, the fleet of approximately 800 engines in service worldwide has logged nearly two million flight hours and more than 1 million flight cycles without a single engine-related event.
CFM56 Tech Insertion provides operators with a one percent improvement in fuel consumption over the life of the product, compared to the base CFM56-5B engine. This lower fuel consumption also lowers CO2, reducing emissions by 200 tons per aircraft per year. Improved analytic design tools have also enabled CFM to further optimize the Tech Insertion combustor such that it emits 25 percent lower NOx emissions. As a result, the engine meets the new International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Committee of Aviation Environmental Protection Standards (CAEP /6) that took effect in early 2008.
Over the engine's life cycle, Tech Insertion will also provide operators with longer time on wing and will lower maintenance costs between five and 12 percent, depending on the thrust rating. These benefits are achieved through improvements to the high-pressure compressor and the high- and low-pressure turbines.