FARNBOROUGH, England, 17 July 2014. China's 9 Air has ordered CFM International's LEAP-1B engine to power 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, in addition to CFM56-7B engines to power 20 Next-Generation 737s. The $3.7 billion order includes spare engines and a long-term service agreement.
Under the terms of the Rate per Flight Hour (RPFH) agreement, CFM will guarantee maintenance costs for all 105 LEAP-1B and CFM56-7B engines on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.
"We have had a great experience operating CFM engines in Juneyao Airlines and we look forward to strengthening this great relationship as we launch 9 Air,” says Wang Junjin, chairman of Juneyao Airlines. "We are confident in the reliability and operating economics of the CFM engines and look forward to introducing the LEAP engine into the mix. The exceptional fuel efficiency and low maintenance costs these engines bring will be critical our new low-cost operations."
“We are very pleased to welcome 9 Air to the family of CFM operators," adds Allen Paxson, executive vice president of CFM International. "We have had a great relationship with its parent company, Juneyao from the very beginning and we look forward to building the same kind of great relationship with 9 Air and it launches operations."
Junjin Wang chairman of Juneyao Airlines, and Allen Paxson, CFM executive vice president, sign the $3.7 billion agreement for LEAP-1B and CFM56-7B engines to power the new low-cost carriers Boeing 737 fleet. Witnessing the signature from left are: Jinq Ye, Han Wang, Jean-Paul Ebanga, and Weiming Xiang.
The LEAP-1B, which is the sole powerplant for the Boeing 737 MAX, began ground testing in June 2014 three days ahead of schedule. The engine is part of 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, officials say.
All of 9 Air's Next-Generation 737s will be powered by the CFM56-7BE engine, the new production configuration introduced in mid-2011. CFM used advanced computer codes and three-dimensional design techniques to improve airfoils in the high- and low-pressure turbines for better engine performance. In addition, the company improved engine durability and reduced parts count to achieve lower maintenance costs. When combined with airplane improvements, the engine provides two percent better fuel efficiency and up to four percent lower maintenance costs.