As part of the largest aircraft order in the airline's history, Sabena Belgian airlines has selected the CFM56-5B/P to power 34 new Airbus Industrie A320 aircraft scheduled to begin delivery in January 1999. Airbus Industrie announced today the contract signing for these aircraft.
CFM56-5B/P engines are produced by CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States. CFM is the world's leading supplier of commercial transport aircraft engines, garnering approximately 60 percent of the 100+ passenger market in 1997 and holding a 54 percent share of this market over the past five years.
Sabena, which is partially owned by Swissair, is a long-time CFM customer, operating a fleet of four long-range, four-engine Airbus A340 aircraft powered by CFM5-5C engines and 15 CFM56-3-powered Boeing 737s. The airline will use the A320s to expand and modernize its short-to-medium-range fleet.
Sabena cited CFM's economic, technical, and environmental advantages as key factors in its engine selection, adding that in "medium- and short-haul carriers, the choice was based on equipment known for being the most economical and most respectful for the environment in this category."
The CFM56-5B/P will be equipped with CFM's advanced double annular combustor (DAC), which reduces NOx emissions by as much as 45 percent compared with engines equipped with a single annular combustor. Developed specifically for the Airbus A320 family, the DAC entered revenue service with Swissair and Austrian Airlines in 1995. CFM is the only engine supplier to offer this technology in the 18,500- to 32,000-pound thrust range.