AirAsia today announced that it has ordered 200 additional CFM LEAP-1A engines to power 100 new Airbus A321neo. The order, which expands its LEAP engine fleet to nearly 730 engines, is valued at $2.7 billion U.S. at list price.
The agreement was signed by Tassapon Bijleveld, Chief Executive Officer of Thai AirAsia representing Group CEO of AirAsia, Tony Fernandes, and Jean-Paul Ebanga, President and CEO of CFM International at Grosvernor House Hotel, witnessed by Anaz Ahmad Tajuddin, AirAsia Group Head of Engineering and Chaker Chahrour, Vice President and General Manager of CFM parent company GE Aviation.
“This order for the larger A321neo is an important element in our long-term growth and expansion strategy,” said Tony Fernandes, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Group. “Choosing the right engine to power them is critical to the success of that strategy. For us, the LEAP-1A was the obvious choice. This engine has demonstrated the promised 15 percent fuel efficiency and we are quite familiar with the reliability inherent in CFM products and the impact that this has on our operations.”
AirAsia, a pioneer in low-cost travel, has been a CFM customer for more than a decade. AirAsia was an early LEAP customer and placed its initial order for 400 LEAP-1A engines — the largest in aviation history at the time — to power A320neo aircraft in June 2011. The airline placed a follow-on order for 128 additional engines in 2013.
As the single largest Airbus A320 operator in the Asia-Pacific region, AirAsia operates a fleet of 170 CFM-powered Airbus A320s with 304 still to be delivered. AirAsia began operations in 2001 and has continued to see steady growth. Today, the airline and its subsidiaries operate close to 1,000 flights per day to more than 120 destinations in 24 countries.
“We believe there is no greater endorsement of the technology choices we have made for the LEAP engine than the continued confidence of an airline such as AirAsia,” said Jean-Paul Ebanga, President and CEO of CFM International. “We are looking proving to them that they have made the right choice.”
“We love working with AirAsia and can’t wait to get the LEAP-1A into their fleet later this year,” said Chaker Chahrour, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing for CFM parent company GE Aviation. “In many ways, AirAsia and CFM have grown up together in the past 25 years and we are honored to be part of one of the most dynamic, successful teams in the industry today.”
The LEAP-1A engine powered the first flight of the Airbus A321neo in February 2016. The engine is on track for entry into service in mid-2016 on the initial A320neo and will provide operators with a 15 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, with an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions; a 50 percent margin to new emissions regulations; a dramatically lower noise signature; and CFM’s industry-leading reliability and low overall operating costs.