Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Group finalized an order with CFM International for 64 LEAP 1A high-bypass turbofan jet engines, destined for the 32 Airbus A321neo aircraft that the carrier has ordered. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2020.
The LEAP-1A is one of three variants for a family of high-bypass turbofan engines developed by CFM, a joint venture of GE Aviation and Snecma, the French aircraft and aerospace group. Each partner manufactures the engines at its own production plants, supplying them to Airbus (the LEAP-1A, for the A320neo), to Boeing (the LEAP-1B, for the new 737 MAX) and to the Commercial Aircraft Co. of China (the LEAP-1C, for the planned C919 narrow-body jet.)
To date, CFM has recorded more than 12,200 orders for the LEAP series engines, as airlines plan new and replacement fleets.
The new jets will be operated by Cathay Dragon, a regional carrier, replacing its single-aisle fleet of 15 A320s and eight A321s, as the airline expands its coverage of the Asia-Pacific region.
Cathay Pacific Group also entered into a long-term “Rate per Flight Hour” maintenance agreement with CFM International, by which the developer guarantees maintenance costs on a “dollar-per-engine-flight-hour” basis.
“We are excited to have selected the LEAP-1A engine to power our incoming Airbus A321neo fleet,” said Neil Glenn, Cathay Pacific Director of Engineering. “CFM International has an excellent reputation for the reliability and predictability of their engines, and with the LEAP-1A engine delivering on its promised efficiency, we look forward to entering into a new chapter in our relationship with them.”
“We are obviously thrilled that Cathay Pacific has selected the LEAP-1A engine to power its new A321neo aircraft,” stated Gaël Méheust, president and CEO of CFM International. “We appreciate the trust they have placed in us and look forward to bringing all of the benefits of the LEAP-1A engines to this new fleet.”