WEST CHESTER, Ohio - Norwegian today became the first European customer for the advanced LEAP-1B-powered Boeing 737 MAX with an order for 100 airplanes. In addition, the airline ordered 22 additional CFM56-7BE-powered Next-Generation 737-800s. The total engine order is valued at approximately $2.9 billion U.S. at list price.
Both the LEAP-1B and CFM56-7BE engines are products of CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran group) and GE.
Norwegian is a long-time CFM customer and currently operates a fleet of 48 CFM56-7B-powered Next-Generation 737-800s, with an additional 78 airplanes on order (including today's announcement), in addition to 14 CFM56-3-powered 737-300s. Today's order supports Norwegian's plans to build on the success provided by its fleet for its rapidly expanding operations.
"We are delighted to welcome Norwegian to the LEAP family of customers," said Jean-Paul Ebanga, president and CEO of CFM. "We appreciate the confidence this order shows in our products and in our team's ability to deliver the industry's most advanced technology."
"We are pleased and honored that Norwegian has chosen to again make CFM its engine supplier of choice," said Gael Meheust, vice president of Sales for CFM. "We've been working together for many years on their 737 fleet, and we look forward to the successful introduction of the LEAP-1B into Norwegian's fleet to support their continued growth and long-term success."
Carrying nearly 16 million passengers in 2011, Norwegian is the third-largest low-cost airline in Europe. Norwegian currently operates more than 300 routes across Europe into North Africa and the Middle East and employs approximately 2,500 people.
LEAP engines will incorporate technologies never before seen in the single-aisle aircraft segment. The new engine will combine advanced aerodynamic design techniques, lighter, more durable materials, and leading-edge environmental technologies, making it a major breakthrough in engine technology.
As a result, compared to today's best CFM56-powered 737operators of the 737 MAX will achieve 10 - 12 percent lower fuel burn; an equivalent reduction in carbon emissions; a 50 percent reduction in NOx emissions versus current ICAO CAEP/6 requirements; a 75 percent reduction in the aircraft noise footprint; all while maintaining the benefits of CFM's legendary reliability and low maintenance costs.
Boeing launched the 737 MAX program with the LEAP-1B in August 2011 and, in November, the two companies announced that the LEAP-1B will have a 68-inch fan. During 2012, the engine design will be optimized for the new 737. CFM and Boeing had been working together for several years to evaluate engine configurations for both re-engined, as well as potential new aircraft to replace the Next-Generation 737 family. To date, Boeing has received commitments for more than 1,000 LEAP-1B-powered 737 MAX airplanes from 15 customers worldwide.
Since its introduction into commercial service in 1998 the CFM56-7B-powed Boeing 737 has become the best-selling engine/airplane in aviation history. Total orders stand at more than 12,000 CFM56-7B engines, of which more than 7,850 have been delivered to about 190 operators.
All of the engines powering Norwegian's Next-Generation 737-800s will be the CFM56-7BE configuration. Compared to previous versions of the Next-Generation 737, the enhanced airplane/engine combination provides a 2 percent improvement in fuel consumption, which, in turn, equates to a 2 percent reduction in carbon emissions. Additionally, the enhanced -7BE will provide up to 4 percent lower maintenance costs, depending on the thrust rating. The engine entered service in July 2011.
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