EVENDALE, OHIO April 20, 2006 Southwest Airlines today announced a $1 billion order (at list price) for CFM56-7B engines to power 79 firm Boeing Next-Generation 737-700 aircraft. The airline is scheduled to take delivery of the new aircraft between 2007 and 2012.
CFM56-7B engines are produced by 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 with more than 15,500 engines in service with more than 450 operators worldwide.
Southwest Airlines currently serves 62 cities in 32 states and operates more than 3,000 flights daily with an all CFM-powered fleet. The airline, which has long served as a model for low-cost airlines around the world, is CFM's largest commercial customer. Southwest helped launch both the CFM56-3 on the Boeing Classic 737s and the CFM56-7B on the Next-Generation 737 series. This order takes the airline's CFM56-powered 737 fleet to more than 550 aircraft by 2012.
"Since the CFM56-7B entered service, it has been 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 helped us produce a high quality, highly reliable, cost-efficient product that has rapidly become the backbone of single-aisle fleets around the globe."
"Southwest trusts CFM to power its entire fleet," said David Romansky, sales director for CFM. "With this order, the United State's largest domestic carrier has entrusted its future fleet to CFM, as well. This order means a great deal to us because it confirms that we have done our job well."
The CFM56-7B brings the industry's most advanced technology to the 737, providing low operating costs, high performance, high reliability, low noise and emissions and excellent operability. More than 1,900 aircraft have been delivered to date, and the fleet has accumulated more than 48 million flight hours and 25 million flight cycles while maintaining a 99.96 percent dispatch reliability rate. This rate translates to less than one departure per 2,000 flights being delayed 15 minutes or more or canceled for engine-related issues. The CFM56-7 also has one of the lowest in-flight shutdown rates in the industry: .002 per 1,000 hours. The rate is equivalent to one engine-caused in-flight shutdown every 500,000 flight hours.