Turkish Airlines has taken delivery of its first six CFM56-7-powered Boeing Next-Generation 737-800 at a ceremony in Seattle, Washington. The airline has a total of 26 firm, 23 option aircraft on order and deliveries will extend through 2002 if all options are exercised.
The CFM56-7 engine is produced by CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran Group) of France and General Electric of the United States and is the world's leading supplier of engines for commercial aircraft with a capacity of 100 passengers or more.
Turkish Airlines, the national flag carrier of the Turkish Republic, currently operates 35 CFM-powered aircraft, including 30 CFM56-3-powered Boeing 737-400s and five long-range, four-engine Airbus Industrie A340 with the CFM56-5C engine; two additional A340s are on order. These airplanes represent more than half of the airlines total fleet. The new 737 aircraft, which will be deployed on Turkish Airlines' domestic, European, Central Asian, and Middle Eastern routes, are part of the airline's plan to expand its fleet and retire some of its older aircraft.
"Over the last eight years, we have formed a very strong working relationship with Turkish Airlines and are gratified to have the opportunity to extend this relationship into the next century," said Henri Cabannes, CFM general manager for engine sales. "We believe that a large part of this airline's decision to entrust its future single-aisle fleet to CFM has been the successful operation of its current fleet. The CFM56-3 and -5 engines in service with Turkish Airlines have consistently maintained an average time on wing that is better than the fleet average of about 12,000 hours.
"This success is due in no small measure to the airline's maintenance and service capabilities. Turkish Airlines maintains its own CFM56-3 and -5 engines, and will soon be capable of servicing the new CFM56-7. While we feel we build the most reliable engines in the industry, we know it is our customers that keep them in the air. We salute Turkish Airlines on a job well done. We also take this opportunity to extend our congratulations to the Turkish Republic on the 75th anniversary of its formation and our best wishes for the future"