FARNBOROUGH, England July 14, 2008 Saudi Arabian Airlines today announced that it has again selected the CFM56-5B engine to power 22 new Airbus A320 family aircraft. The order is valued at approximately $300 million at list price. This is in addition to previously selecting 20 leased Airbus A320s, also powered by CFM56-5B engines The airline will begin taking delivery of new aircraft in 2009.
CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) and General Electric Company, is the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines with more than 18,500 delivered to nearly 500 operators around the globe.
Saudi Arabian Airlines, the flag carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, began operations in 1945 with a single twin-engined DC-3 that had been presented to King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud as a gift by the then U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Today, it is one of the Middle East's largest airlines, operating a fleet of 98 aircraft to nearly 90 destinations. It operates flights to more than 60 destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.
"The CFM56-5B is the right engine for our A320 new fleet. The engine combines operational efficiency as well as lower NOx emissions for our planet" said His Excellency Engineer Khalid Al-Molhem, Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines.
"We are obviously honored that an airline of this caliber has chosen to make the CFM56 product such an important part of its fleet," said Muhammad Al-Lamadani, CFM's Senior Executive - Regional Sales for the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet Union). "We believe the high reliability, excellent fuel burn, and very low overall operating costs will make the airplane an invaluable part of the Saudi Arabian fleet."
All of Saudi Arabian's CFM56-5B engines are the Tech Insertion configuration. This technology will provide operators with a 1 percent improvement in fuel consumption over the life of the product, compared to the base CFM56-5B engine. This lower fuel consumption will also lower CO2, reducing these emissions by 200 tons per aircraft per year. Improved analytic design tools have also enabled CFM to further optimize the Tech Insertion combustor so that it will provide 25 percent lower NOx emissions.
Over the engine's life cycle, Tech Insertion will also provide operators with longer time on wing and will lower maintenance costs between five and 12 percent, depending on the thrust rating. These benefits are achieved through improvements to the high-pressure compressor and the high- and low-pressure turbines.