Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today announced that it has selected CFM International’s advanced LEAP-1A engine to power 26 Airbus A321neo scheduled to begin delivery in 2018. The order is valued at $2.8bn at list price, including a long-term services agreement.
To support the new fleet, Etihad has signed a 15-year Rate per Flight Hour (RPFH) agreement, under the terms of which CFM will guarantee maintenance costs on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.
“Etihad Airways prides itself on operating modern, state-of-the-art and highly efficient aircraft, with the Airbus A320 family at the heart of our narrow-body fleet,” said James Hogan, president and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways. “Through the introduction of the brand new Airbus A320neo family aircraft, we will benefit from even lower fuel consumption and environmental impact on short-haul and medium-haul flights. Much of these operational improvements will derive from the advanced LEAP-1A engine, which has been meeting all performance targets.”
“We are happy to welcome Etihad as a CFM customer,” said Jean-Paul Ebanga, president and CEO of CFM International. “In just 10 years, this airline has built a reputation for excellence in every facet of its business, and we are honored to become part of this team.”
“We are obviously excited that Etihad chose to power its new A320neo fleet with the LEAP engine,” said Gaël Meheust, vice president of sales for CFM International. “We think this engine is going to be the best we’ve ever built and Etihad will realize the benefits from day one – lower fuel burn, lower noise and emissions, all with CFM’s legendary reliability and low cost of ownership.”
CFM recently completed ground testing of the first LEAP engine, accumulation 310 hours and more than 400 cycles over a five-week test plan. The foundation of the LEAP engine is heavily rooted in advanced aerodynamics, environmental, and materials technology development programs. It will provide 15% better fuel consumption and an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to today’s best CFM engine, along with dramatic reductions in engine noise and emissions. All this technology brings with it CFM’s legendary reliability and low maintenance costs.