Tunisair has placed a $180 million order for CFM56-5B engines to power 10 firm A320 family aircraft. The airline, which also took options on two additional aircraft, is scheduled to begin taking delivery in June 2010.
"Tunisair is pleased to announce the selection of the CFM56-5B/3 engines to power its new Airbus A320 aircraft," said Nabil Chettaoui, president & CEO of Tunisair Group. "With this firm acquisition of CFM engines, Tunisair intends to fulfill the operational and economic targets we have planned for the future."
Tunisair was established in October 1948 as Tunisia's flag carrier and has been a CFM International customer since 1990. Today, the airline operates a fleet of 27 CFM56-powered Airbus A320 family and Boeing 737 Classic and Next-Generation aircraft.
"We are obviously very pleased to continue our long relationship with Tunisair," said Eric Bachelet, president and CEO of CFM International. "We are very proud of the engines we produce, but it is the continued confidence of airlines such as Tunisair that serves as the true barometer of how well we do our job and we are deeply honored by the trust they have placed in us."
All CFM56-5B engines delivered since mid-2007 have been the advanced Tech Insertion configuration. Since its introduction into revenue service in September 2007, the CFM56-5B Tech Insertion fleet of more than 1,000 engines has logged more than 3 million flight hours and 1.8 million flight cycles.
CFM56 Tech Insertion will provide Tunisair 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 also significantly lowers CO2 emissions. Improved analytic design tools have also enabled CFM to further optimize the Tech Insertion combustor such that it emits 25 percent lower NOx emissions. As a result, the engine meets the current International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Committee of Aviation Environmental Protection standards (CAEP /6) that took effect in early 2008.
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.
CFM56-5B engines are a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) and General Electric Company.