easyJet announced that, following a highly competitive selection process, it has selected CFM International S.A. as its engine supplier to provide 270 engines to power its firm order of 35 Airbus current generation A320 aircraft and 100 Airbus new generation A320neo aircraft, together with any future exercise of the 100 purchase rights over new generation aircraft.
The A320neos will be powered by the CFM LEAP-1A engines which will contribute towards expected improved aircraft fuel efficiency of 13-15% and also reduce noise levels - which will be up to 15% dB below ICAO Chapter 4 standard. The current generation A320 aircraft will be powered by CFM56-5B engines.
The A320 current generation aircraft are planned for delivery between 2015 and 2017 and the A320neo aircraft are planned for delivery from 2017 until 2022. The framework arrangements relating to all these aircraft and their related engines were approved by easyJet’s shareholders on 11 July 2013.
Following extensive negotiations with CFM, easyJet has achieved a modest improvement in pricing of the overall framework arrangements. The terms of the framework arrangements are subject to confidentiality restrictions and do not materially differ from the arrangements described in the Circular to shareholders published on 18 June 2013.
The 180 seat A320neo is expected to deliver a cost per seat saving of between 11% and 12%, compared to a 156 seat current generation A319 aircraft. The majority of the new aircraft will replace ageing aircraft as they leave the fleet and return to lessors. The fleet order provides easyJet with a high level of flexibility.
easyJet has been a CFM customer since 1995 and its entire current fleet is powered by CFM56 engines, operating 225 CFM56-5B-powered A320-family aircraft.
The engines will be manufactured at CFM’s Paris factory. Some 450 suppliers will provide parts for the LEAP engines and in total CFM estimate that the new engines will support around 10,000 jobs in Europe and the US.
Carolyn McCall, chief executive of easyJet, commented:“Both engine manufacturers wanted to win our business and competed hard during a thorough selection process. Ultimately CFM offered us the best overall deal. We are pleased to have signed a deal with CFM - a company with which we have a long history and a great working relationship – and look forward to introducing the new LEAP-1A engine into our fleet. The engines will help easyJet to maintain its low cost base and the new generation A320neo is expected to deliver a cost per seat saving of between 11% and 12% compared to the current generation A319. They will also provide important environmental benefits through a significant improvement in fuel efficiency and a reduction in noise.”
Jean-Paul Ebanga, president and CEO of CFM, said: “It is great to welcome easyJet to the growing list of LEAP engine customers. We have built a great relationship with this airline over the years and are obviously honored by their continued confidence in CFM products.”
Gael Meheust, vice president, Sales, for CFM, added: "All of the benefits we are building into the LEAP engine are designed to have a positive impact on easyJet’s bottom line. This engine will provide unprecedented levels of efficiency and environmental responsibility while maintaining the legacy of aviation's most reliable product line, the CFM56 family.”
The foundation of the LEAP engine is heavily rooted in advanced aerodynamics, environmental, and materials technology development programs. It will provide double-digit improvements in fuel consumption and 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.
The first full LEAP-1A engine began ground testing in September 2013, two days ahead of schedule, launching the most extensive ground and flight test certification program in CFM's history. The total program, which encompasses all three LEAP engine variants, includes 28 ground and CFM flight test engines, along with a total of 32 flight test engines for Airbus, Boeing, and COMAC.
Over the next three years, these engines will accumulate approximately 40,000 engine cycles leading up to entry into service. By the time this engine enters services, CFM will have simulated more than 15 years of airline service with 60 different engine builds.
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