CFM56-3 engines in service with Virgin Express have logged more than half a million flight hours powering the airline's fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft.
CFM56-3 engines are produced by CFM International, the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines and a 50/50 joint company between Snecma Moteurs (Safran Group) (France) and General Electric (U.S.).
Virgin Express is a low-fare, scheduled carrier that supports 11 European destination from its base in Belgium. The airline operates a fleet of 14 leased Boeing 737-300 and 737-400 aircraft on its European routes. Virgin Express is a subsidiary of Virgin Express Holding, which also owns Virgin Express (Ireland) Ltd., based in Shannon, Ireland. Virgin Express Ireland operates eight CFM-powered 737s.
"On behalf of everyone at CFM, I'd like to congratulate Virgin Express on achieving such a major milestone," said Grard Laviec, president and CEO of CFM International. "We're happy to have been a part of this team for the last eight years and look forward to our future relationship with great anticipation."
The Virgin Express fleet has maintained exceptional reliability rates. The fleet average shop visit rate is .050 (one unplanned shop visit per 20,000 flight hours); an in-flight shutdown rate of .003 (one event every 333,333 flight hours); and a fleet departure reliability rate of 99.996 percent.
Overall, CFM56-3-powered 737s have logged nearly 100 million flight hours and 70 million cycles since the first airplanes were delivered in 1984. During this time, the CFM56-3 has consistently raised the standards for engine dependability and reliability. The fleet has a 99.97 percent dispatch reliability rate, which translates to less than one departure per 3,000 being delayed or cancelled for engine related issues. The engine also maintains a .003 in-flight shutdown rate or one event every 333,333 flight hours; each aircraft logs between 2,500 to 3,500 flight hours per year.
Despite having one of the highest daily utilization rates in the industry, the CFM56-3 continues to set records for time on wing. One CFM56-3 engine is still flying with comfortable EGT margin after logging more than 33,500 flight hours without a shop visit and nothing more than routine maintenance. On average, CFM56-3 engines average about 16,000 hours on wing before an initial shop visit.