Tunis-based Nouvelair has taken delivery of its first CFM56-5B-powered Airbus Industrie A320 aircraft. An additional A320 is scheduled for delivery in spring 2000.
CFM56-5B are produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States.
CFM56-5A and -5B have been selected to power nearly 60 percent of the approximately 2,200 A318/A319/A320/A321 aircraft ordered to date. CFM also has the largest A320 operator base and counts among its customers Air Canada, Air France, Alitalia, All Nippon, Austrian, Iberia, Lufthansa, Northwest, Sabena, Swissair, and US Airways. One of the primary factors behind the CFM56-5's broad-based market acceptance has been its simple, rugged architecture, which gives it the highest reliability, durability, and repairability in its class. The CFM56-5-powered A320 fleet currently in service has logged nearly 17 million engine flight hours and 11 million cycles while maintaining a dispatch reliability rate of 99.96 percent. In addition, CFM56-5 engines are averaging 14,000 hours on wing prior to initial shop visit, and more than 10,000 hours after overhaul; no other engine in this thrust class can match this record. The CFM56-5 also has the advantage in global cost of ownership, which is determined by such factors as shop visit rate, life-limited parts, in-flight shutdown rate, delays and cancellations, and fuel burn. The first A320 entered service powered by the CFM56-5A engine in 1988. Since then, CFM has expanded the thrust range from 22,000 to 33,000 pounds thrust with the introduction of the CFM56-5B. The company certified the advanced technology CFM56-5B/P, which is now the standard -5B configuration, in 1996 to provide operators with significant improvements in fuel consumption, engine reliability and durability.