PARIS 2011: AirAsia orders 400 LEAP engines and signs 20-year support deal

AirAsia has selected CFM International’s LEAP engine to power 200 Airbus A320neo aircraft, the first deliveries of which are scheduled to begin in 2016.

To support the new LEAP-powered A320neo fleet, AirAsia has also signed a 20-year RPFH (Rate per Flight Hour) agreement with CFM to provide comprehensive engine maintenance service. Under the terms of this agreement, CFM will guarantee maintenance costs on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.

“LEAP is absolutely the right engine for our A320neo aircraft,” declared Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia. “We had a fantastic evaluation process with CFM before making our decision. They are great partners. And partnerships are important, because you can sign the contracts, but if you don’t have a good relationship, the deal feels a bit empty.

“So why did we choose CFM? Well, it’s not just about a price it’s about service,” Fernandes continued. “We know that when they put something down on paper then they’ll do it.”

Jean-Paul Ebanga, president and CEO of CFM agreed. “For CFM it’s an outstanding day. It’s more than a partnership, it’s a friendship,” he emphasised. “We believe that all of the benefits of LEAP technology will have a very positive impact on AirAsia’s operational efficiency and help fuel their continued growth long-term.”

“It’s a great feeling when an airline that is already an excellent customer, but also a thought leader and innovator in the industry, chooses to make you such an important part of its operations,” added Kevin McAllister, CFM’s vice-president of sales. “They put us through a tough selection process, so we’re delighted to be making this deal.”

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/
Paris, France

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