DALLAS, Texas ( June 29, 2000 ( Southwest Airlines today announced an order for CFM56-7 engines to power up to 290 Boeing Next-Generation 737-700 aircraft. The order includes engines to power 94 firm aircraft at a value $1 billion.
In addition to the firm aircraft order, Southwest has taken options on 25 737s, while securing purchase rights for an additional 171 airplanes.
The CFM56-7 engine is the exclusive powerplant for the Boeing Next-Generation 737 series and is produced by CFM International. CFM, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States, is the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines with firm orders for nearly 14,000 engines at a value of about $70 billion. These orders represent nearly 50 percent of the market for 100+ passenger aircraft.
Southwest, celebrating its 29th anniversary this month, took delivery of the first CFM56-7-powered Next-Generation 737 in late 1997 and has since introduced a total of 70 aircraft into its fleet. The 737s ordered today, which represent the largest CFM56-7 order to date, will be delivered between 2002 and 2012.
"In just two and a half years of service, the CFM56-7 is delivering industry-leading reliability. We owe much of that success to our long-term relationship with Southwest and Boeing," said Bill Clapper, executive vice president of CFM International. "Their involvement in the development of this engine has helped us produce a high quality, highly reliable, cost-efficient product. An order of this magnitude from an airline such as Southwest is confirmation that we have done our job well. Our commitment to Southwest is that every member of the CFM team will prove that it made the right decision."
In 1981, Southwest helped launch the CFM56-3 on the Boeing Classic 737-300/-400/-500; the airline has a fleet of nearly 300 CFM-powered 737s (Classic and Next-Generation) in operation today.
"Southwest is one of our oldest and biggest customers, so this order means a great deal to CFM," said David Romansky, sales director for CFM. "Not because of its size but because of the confidence it shows in our products and our team. Southwest has trusted CFM to power virtually its entire fleet for the past 15 years; with this order the nation's seventh biggest airline has entrusted its future fleet to CFM as well."
The CFM56-7 has built an outstanding in-service record since entering service with Southwest in early 1998. More than 550 airplanes have been delivered to date, and the fleet has logged more than 3.3 million flight hours while maintaining a 99.94 dispatch reliability rate. The CFM56-7-powered 737 made history last year when it became the first single-aisle aircraft in its class to be granted 180-minute Extended-Range, Twin-Engine Operations (ETOPS) approval by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.