Deutsche Lufthansa today announced a firm order for CFM International’s advanced LEAP-1A engine to power 15 Airbus A320neo and 25 A321neo aircraft. The firm engine order is valued at more than $1.0 billion U.S. at list price.
In addition, the airline has also selected the LEAP-1A engines to power incremental A320neo family aircraft orders.
"We have been watching the LEAP-1A engine development program from its very beginning and, having worked closely with CFM, are impressed with the evolution of its design and unique technical features," said Nico Buchholz, executive vice president, Fleet Management for Lufthansa Group. "This engine is bringing the level of fuel efficiency we need, coupled with significant reductions in CO2 and NOx emissions and noise levels compared to today’s engines. At the same time, we trust it will provide the levels of reliability and cost of ownership we have come to expect from CFM products. We’re really looking forward to introducing it into our fleet."
Lufthansa, which is part of the Lufthansa Group, currently operates a fleet 350 CFM56 engines powering Airbus A319/A320, long-range, four-engine A340-300, and Boeing 737 Classic aircraft. Overall, the Lufthansa Group, which also includes Germanwings, Austrian, and Swiss, operates more than 560 CFM56 engines.
“This is a fantastic vote of confidence, not only for CFM but also for the technology choices we have made with LEAP engine,” said Jean-Paul Ebanga, president and CEO of CFM. “This announcement brings the total LEAP orderbook to more than 6,100 engines the fastest order ramp up in commercial aviation history. The industry is overwhelmingly embracing all that this engine has to offer."
“Lufthansa is well-known for its technical expertise," said Kevin McAllister vice president of sales for CFM parent company GE Aviation. “And they chose the LEAP-1A engine after an exhaustive evaluation. At the end of the day, they recognized the exceptional value that our product offers. That makes a win like this even more gratifying. We have been putting this engine through its paces over the last few months and the results couldn’t be better. This engine is going to deliver everything we promised and so much more."
Lufthansa has long been a driving force behind commercial aviation. In recent years, the airline has been one of the industry’s strongest proponents of environmental technology adoption to help reduces the impact of aviation on the environment, particularly noise and CO2-emissions.
The foundation of the LEAP engine is heavily rooted in advanced aerodynamics, environmental, and materials technology development programs. It will provide 15 percent better fuel consumption and an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to today’s best CFM engine. In addition, the revolutionary TAPS II (Twin-Annular, Pre-Mixing Swirler) combustor is reducing harmful NOx emissions by 50 percent compared to today’s engines.
LEAP technology is also bringing dramatic reductions in engine noise, reducing the footprint by up to 75 percent compared to today’s engines. This means that, in most cases, the perceived noise from LEAP-powered aircraft will remain within the confines of the airport itself. All this technology brings with it CFM’s legendary reliability and low maintenance costs.
The first full LEAP engine began ground testing in September, launching the most extensive ground and flight test certification program in the company’s history and will encompass 60 engine builds over the next three years and will accumulate approximately 40,000 cycles before entry into service. The engine recently successfully completed a series of early icing tests, one year ahead of required certification testing. The engine behaved very well in extremely harsh conditions, validating pre-test predictions and reinforcing the company’s confidence that the engine will certify on time and meet the performance and reliability promises made to its customers. In the next few months, CFM will complete early endurance testing and is on track to begin flight testing both the LEAP-1A engine at GE facilities in California.
About CFM International
LEAP engines are a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and GE. CFM, the world’s leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines, has delivered more than 26,000 engines to date.
About Lufthansa Group
The Lufthansa Group is an aviation group with global operations and a total of more almost 500 subsidiaries and associated companies. It is divided into five business segments, which cover the areas of passenger transportation, airfreight and airline services: Passenger Airline Group, Logistics, MRO, Catering and IT Services. All of the business segments occupy a leading position in their sectors and in some cases are the global market leaders.
The airlines constitute the core business segment of the Lufthansa Group. Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo, Germanwings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines as well as all of their regional affiliates enjoy an outstanding reputation in the market as quality airlines. The equity investments in Brussels Airlines, SunExpress and JetBlue round off the airline portfolio.
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