CINCINNATI, OHIO June 16, 2004 Virgin America, the new Virgin-branded U.S. domestic airline, has announced an order for CFM56-5B engines to power up to 105 Airbus A320 family aircraft.
CFM56-5B engines are produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) and General Electric Company. The engine has been selected to power nearly 60 percent of the Airbus A318, A319, A320, and A321 aircraft currently in service.
Virgin America is purchasing 18 new aircraft, including 11 A319s and seven A320. The agreement also includes options for up to 72 additional aircraft. The start-up airline will also lease 15 additional new A320s from GE Capital Aviation Services. Delivery of the firm and leased aircraft is scheduled to begin in early 2005. Virgin America's corporate headquarters are located in New York's Manhattan and its principal base of operations will be San Francisco.
As the only engine that can power every model of the A320 family with the same bill of materials, the CFM56-5B provides airlines a distinct commonality advantage, in addition to the lowest cost of operation on this application. The CFM56-5 continues to be the engine of choice for the Airbus A320 family. The high reliability, long on-wing life, and low maintenance costs of the CFM56 engine family make these engines extremely popular with both low-cost carriers and with leasing companies. One of the primary factors behind the engine's broad-based market acceptance has been its simple, rugged architecture, which gives it the highest reliability, durability, and lowest maintenance costs its class