LanChile today took delivery of the first of seven firm Airbus Industrie A340-300 aircraft powered by CFM56-5C4 engines. Following the delivery ceremony, the aircraft is flying to the airline's base of operation in Santiago, Chile.
The CFM56-5C4 is the highest thrust engine produced by CFM International and is the exclusive powerplant for the long-range, four-engine Airbus A340-200 and A340-300. CFM is a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
In its 71-year history, LanChile has always taken a leadership position in the industry, including the launch of the first commercial airline service to Antarctica in 1955. In the 1990s, it has experienced the third highest growth rate of any international carrier and was recently named Chile's most admired company for the second consecutive year.
LanChile will use the A340s to modernize its long-haul fleet and improve services on routes to North America, the South Pacific, and Europe. Although LanChile has operated DC-8 Super 70 freighter aircraft re-engined with the CFM56-2, the A340 order is the airline's first new order for CFM56 engines. In addition to the seven firm aircraft, LanChile holds options on seven additional A340-300s.
The CFM56-5C-powered A340 fleet grew 15 percent in 1999, with 31 new A340s ordered, bringing total orders to more than 230 aircraft. The 181 CFM56-5C-powered A340s in service have logged nearly 12 million flight hours while maintaining a dispatch reliability rate of 99.80 percent, in addition to one of the lowest shop visit rates in this thrust class.
Overall, CFM56 engines have been selected to power more than 50 percent of the commercial aircraft with a capacity of 100 passengers or more ordered over the last decade. Since the company's formation in 1974, CFM has received orders for more than 14,000 engines from 300 customers worldwide at a value of nearly $70 billion. There are currently more than 11,000 CFM56 engines in service.