CFM passes $5 Bn in show deals

Air Lease Corporation has finalised orders valued at US$3.3 billion with CFM International for LEAP-1B and LEAP-1A engines, bringing the engine manufacturer’s total orders from the Farnborough Airshow to approximately $5.5 billion.

The LEAP-1B order valued at $2.3 billion will see the units power 83 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft already ordered by the lessor. The LEAP-1A order was valued at $1 billion, with the engines to power 34 previously announced Airbus A321neo aircraft.

CFM, a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines, has also confirmed several other deals at the show. One with lessor Aviation Capital Group (ACG) was an order for LEAP-1A engines to power 10 firm A320neos aircraft. ACG also secured the option to purchase 18 additional LEAP-1A engine shipsets for A320neos. The firm order was valued at $300 million.

The engine maker also confirmed a $528 million deal with the same lessor for LEAP-1B engines to power 20 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

South African airline Comair was another to sign with CFM, committing to an eight-year Rate Per Flight Hour (RPFH) agreement to support its fleet of 16 CFM56-7B engines. The agreement was valued at $160 million. CFM will support the fleet on a dollar per flight hour basis. It’s the first time Comair has signed a long-term support agreement with CFM for any of its engines.

In 2014 it became the first African airline to order the LEAP-1B-powered B737 MAX with an order for eight aircraft.

Another deal signed by CFM with STARLUX concluded a long-term service agreement to support the airline’s fleet of leased A321neo aircraft powered by the LEAP-1A. The agreement, which includes the purchase of one spare engine, was valued at $220 million U.S. Under the terms of the 12-year RPFH agreement, CFM Services provides maintenance on a dollar per flight hour basis for all LEAP-1A engines powering the carrier’s fleet of 10 A321neos.

STARLUX plans to begin scheduled international services from Taipei starting in 2020. With A321neos flying initial routes from Taipei to southeast and northeast Asian destinations, the fleet is expected to reach 27 aircraft by the end of 2024.

Last but not least, a $500 million support agreement for LEAP-1A and CFM56-5B engines was signed by CFM with Zhejiang Loong Airlines. The 12-year RPFH agreement will see CFM guarantee the maintenance costs of the airline’s leased fleet of 24 LEAP-1A and 11 CFM56-5B engines on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.

Based in Hangzhou in Eastern China, Zhejiang Loong Airlines is the LEAP-1A launch customer in the country, with the first LEAP-1A aircraft set to start operations later this year. The carrier only began commercial operations in December 2013 using two CFM56-5B-powered A320s and has since added 26 additional A320s to its fleet. It has more than 70 aircraft in service and on order.

On the first day of the show CFM signed a $375 million Letter of Intent with India’s Vistara Airlines for 26 LEAP-1A engines.


Written by: Mark Thomas

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