The new, fuel-efficient CFM LEAP engine was the star of the show at last month’s Paris Air Show, with carriers like Virgin America, SAS and others ordering 910 engines for their narrow-body Airbus A320neo planes (including Air Asia’s commitment to 400 LEAP engines, the largest single-firm aircraft order in aviation history). Now American Airlines has joined the crowd, announcing this morning an agreement with Boeing to buy a new narrow-body fleet of 300 737s, up to 160 of which—the new, re-engined 737 model—will be powered by the CFM LEAP. Together with its earlier selection to power China’s COMAC C919, the CFM LEAP engine and its technology is gaining momentum with the next generation of narrow-body aircraft. CFM International is the 50/50 joint company of GE Aviation and Snecma (Safran Group).
GE Aviation and its joint venture partnerships in CFM and the Engine Alliance, respectively, currently have 25,336 jet engines in service globally. More than 10,000 new engines are on order.
American’s decision to buy the new Boeing 737 aircraft powered by the LEAP engine—in addition to the LEAP’s wins in Paris—shows how CFM’s enduring commitment to R&D—the partners in CFM have spent more than $12 billion over the last decade—has paid off. With the engine purchases and accompanying service and maintenance agreements, GE Aviation’s American workforce will be busy producing and repairing engines for decades to come.
The CFM56-7BE engine will power the balance of the order from Boeing, up to 140 of the existing 737 model. GE Aviation President and CEO David Joyce said today, “We are thrilled to be supporting this significant fleet renewal by American Airlines. CFM International, our partner company with Snecma, has a long and proud history of supporting American Airlines. This marks a significant new chapter in the relationship, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring our reliable engine innovations to the airline.”