Skybus Airlines has announced that it will purchase CFM56-5B engines to power 65 new Airbus A319 aircraft in an engine order valued at more than $750 million at list price.
CFM56-5B engines are a product of CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) and General Electric Company and the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines.
Skybus - the next generation of low-fare airlines - is scheduled to take delivery of its first A319 in late 2008 and plans to begin nonstop service from its base in Columbus, Ohio to major U.S. markets in spring, 2007.
"The CFM56-5B engine is an ideal match for our A319 fleet," said Bill Diffenderffer, chief executive officer of Skybus. "The outstanding quality and reliability of this engine will help us achieve our goal of providing passengers with the highest quality, lowest cost service without any compromises. The engine's low cost of ownership will also be a strong contributor to our ability to implement our long-term growth strategy."
"We're obviously honored by Skybus's order and excited about the prospect of working with them as they launch this new venture," said Bill Clapper, Executive Vice President of CFM.
"I applaud Skybus' decision to purchase aircraft engines that provide jobs for Ohioans, as well as its continued commitment to spur economic growth throughout the state," said Ohio, Lt. Governor Lee Fisher, who also serves as Director for the Ohio Department of development. "The State of Ohio is proud to be a partner with Skybus as it develops its Ohio operation, which is making a significant economic investment in the state and creating good jobs for Ohio workers."
All of the airline's engines will be CFM56-5B Tech Insertion engines.
This new configuration, which is schedule for certification in the third quarter of this year, incorporates advanced technologies developed and validated as part of Project TECH56 to provide operators with lower maintenance costs, improved oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions, and better fuel burn. Tech Insertion includes improvements to the high-pressure compressor, the combustor, and the high- and low-pressure turbines.
The CFM56-5B is the engine of choice for the Airbus A320 family and is popular with major airlines, low-cost carriers, and leasing companies alike. More than 2,400 CFM56-5B engines have been delivered to date, and the fleet is growing at a rate of about 35 engines per month.
Primary factors behind the engine's broad-based acceptance include its industry's best reliability, durability, low cost of ownership, and world-class customer and product support. The CFM56-5B is the only engine that can power every model of the A320 family, from the small A318 up to the A321, with the same bill of materials, giving airlines a significant commonality advantage.