In conjunction with South Korean President Kim Dae-jung's visit to the United States, Korean Air today signed an agreement to purchase CFM56-7 engines to power 22 firm, five option Next-Generation Boeing 737 aircraft, thus becoming CFM International's newest customer. The firm engine order is valued at $250 million.
CFM International (CFM) is a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
Korean Air, which will begin introducing the new CFM-powered fleet into service in 2000, will use the Next-Generation 737s to replace its aging single-aisle fleet. The CFM56-7's advanced technology will provide Korean Air significant cost benefits, including significantly lower fuel consumption, 15 percent lower maintenance costs, and more than 20 percent longer time on wing compared to the engines it currently operates.
The first CFM56-7-powered Next-Generation 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft entered service in the U.S. and Europe earlier this year. The 737-600 began certification flight tests in January and will enter service this year equipped with CFM's advanced double annular combustor.
CFM is the world's leading supplier of commercial transport aircraft engines, with sales over the past five years representing 54 percent of commercial aircraft with a capacity of 100 passengers or more. In the first five months of 1998, CFM booked firm orders valued at about $3.7 billion for nearly 750 CFM56 engines. Overall, CFM has received orders and commitments for more than 12,000 engines at a value of more than $50 billion; nearly 9,000 of these engines are currently in service with 239 customers worldwide.
The CFM56-7 was certified in December 1996 at 18,500 to 27,300 pounds takeoff thrust. Since the CFM56-7-powered 737 program was launched, it has become the fastest selling engine/aircraft combination in history. Announced orders now stand at more than 900 aircraft.