Virgin Blue Expands CFM56-7B-powered 737 Fleet with New Order for 50 Airplanes

April 5, 2010

Australian domestic carrier Virgin Blue has placed a firm order for 50 CFM56-7B-powered Boeing 737 airplanes as part of a new fleet agreement comprising 50 Next-Generation aircraft, with a further 25 option aircraft, as well as securing 30 additional future purchase rights. The firm engine order is valued at approximately $700 million U.S. at list price.

Virgin Blue, which already has a fleet of 83 aircraft, has been a CFM customer since its official launch in August 2000. The airline is scheduled to begin taking delivery of the new aircraft in mid-2011, and all the CFM56-7B engines will be the CFM56-7BE configuration.

The CFM56-7BE-powered Next-Generation 737 enhanced airplane/engine combination will provide a 2 percent improvement in fuel consumption, which, in turn, equates to a 2 percent reduction in carbon emissions. Additionally, the enhanced -7B will provide up to 4 percent lower maintenance costs, depending on the thrust rating.

The CFM56-7BE engine enhancement program was launched in April 2010 with fleet introduction designed to coincide with Boeing Next-Generation 737 airframe improvements.

CFM is using advanced computer codes and three-dimensional design techniques to improve airfoils in the high- and low-pressure turbines to improve engine performance. In addition, CFM is improving engine durability and reducing parts count to achieve lower maintenance costs.

CFM is a 50/50 joint company of Snecma (Safran Group) and General Electric Company. CFM is the world's leading manufacturing of commercial aircraft engines and has produced more than 20,250 engines to date.

Jamie Jewell

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Charles Soret

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Perry Bradley

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Talal Ahmed Almahmood

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