17 Nov 2013 11:00

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced an order with CFM International for 52LEAP-1A engines to power 26 new Airbus A321neo aircraft. 

The order, unveiled today at the Dubai Air Show 2013,includes a 15-year Rate Per Flight Hour (RPFH) agreement, under which CFM International will guarantee maintenance costs on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.

TheLEAP-1A engines will be fitted onto 26 A321neo aircraft, which form part of a US$ 26.9 billion order with Airbus also announced today by Etihad Airways. Delivery of the aircraft is scheduled to commence from 2020.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “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.

“Through the introduction of brand new Airbus A320neo family aircraft, we will benefit from evenlower 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.”

Rooted in advanced aerodynamics and materials technology development programs, LEAP engines are designed to provide 15 per cent better fuel consumption and an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to today's best CFM engine, along with a 50 per cent reduction in oxides of nitrogen emissions and up to 75 per cent less engines noise footprint.

CFM International completed ground testing of the first full LEAP engine last month, with a five-week program that involved more than 400 cycles over 310 hours. Engine certification is expected in 2015, followed by first entry into commercial service on the A320neo in 2016.

Jean-Paul Ebanga, President and CEO of CFM International, said: "We are happy to welcome Etihad Airways as a CFM customer. 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 excited that Etihad Airways chose to power its new A321 aircraft with the LEAP engine. We think this engine is going to be the best we’ve ever built and Etihad Airways will realise the benefits from day one – lower fuel burn, lower noise and emissions, all with CFM’s legendary reliability and low cost of ownership.”

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