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Air India Orders more than 800 CFM LEAP Engines

CFM will exclusively power the airline’s newly announced fleet of 210 Airbus A320/A321neo and 190 Boeing 737 MAX family aircraft

Issue: 03-2023By Ayushee ChaudharyPhoto(s): By CFM
Air India and CFM International sign an agreement for the largest ever CFM LEAP engine order. The order for 800 LEAP engines includes 420 LEAP-1A, 380 LEAP-1B, plus CFM services contract.

Tata-acquired Air India has been rigorously expanding the carrier’s fleet, advancing its transformation. After placing the order with aircraft manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing, Air India placed a record order of more than 800 CFM LEAP engines, signing the agreement for the largest ever CFM LEAP engine order. The aircraft order comprises 40 Airbus A350s, 20 Boeing 787s and 10 Boeing 777-9s widebody aircraft, as well as 210 Airbus A320/321 neos and 190 Boeing 737 MAX singleaisle aircraft. All single-aisle aircraft will be powered by engines from CFM International, a 50/50 joint business between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines. CFM will exclusively power the airline’s newly announced fleet of 210 Airbus A320/A321neo and 190 Boeing 737 MAX family aircraft. Air India’s firm order includes 420 LEAP-1A, 380 LEAP-1B, plus spares. Air India also signed a multi-year CFM services contract.

“CFM has been a longstanding partner of Air India, and we are delighted to take it to a higher level with this significant order for new engines. They will help power a key part of Vihaan.AI, Air India’s comprehensive transformation plan, by dramatically expanding our fleet and global network,” said Campbell Wilson, Air India CEO & Managing Director.

Air India has been a CFM customer since 2002, when the airline began operating Airbus A320ceo aircraft powered by CFM56-5B engines. In 2017, Air India began operating A320neos, becoming the first LEAP-1A powered operator in India.

“We appreciate Air India selecting CFM for this milestone order and are proud to continue our long standing partnership. With the LEAP engine under wing, Air India will be able to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions across its narrowbody fleet,” said H. Lawrence Culp, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GE and CEO of CFM parent company GE Aerospace.

LEAP operators are reporting more than 15 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions compared to the latest production of CFM56 engines, resulting in an average of more than 17 million tonnes of CO2 emissions reductions. CFM is supporting industry initiatives to approve and adopt 100 per cent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). LEAP engines are compatible with currently approved 50 per cent SAF blends and have successfully flown multiple demonstration flights with 100 per cent SAF.

“This historic order is enabling Air India to sustain continued growth and play an important role in the economic development of India. Through our current and future facilities as well as local partnerships, we are fully committed to supporting production and aftermarket activities of the LEAP engine in India,” said Olivier Andriès, chief executive officer of CFM parent company Safran.

The LEAP engine family has achieved one of the fastest accumulations of flight hours in commercial aviation history, amassing more than 27 million engine flight hours and 11 million flight cycles.