GE Aerospace is on track to supply over 180 LEAP-1B turbofan engines to SunExpress, the carrier that earlier this month ordered up to 90 Boeing 737-8 and 737-10 aircraft. The engine order could be worth more than $1.3 billion to GE’s joint-venture business CFM International, which developed the LEAP engine series that powers Boeing’s narrow-body jets.
LEAP engines are installed in both the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo narrow-body jets, the two highest-selling aircraft now in service. Together, Boeing and Airbus have order backlogs totaling about 10,000 aircraft for those twin-engine aircraft, to be delivered over the next decade.
The LEAP-1A, LEAP-1B, and LEAP-1C are high-bypass turbofan engines developed by CFM International and produced separately by each of the co-equal partners in that joint venture, GE Aerospace and Safran Aircraft Engines.
SunExpress, a joint-venture airline between Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, ordered 45 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft (28 737 MAX-8s and 17 737 MAX-10s) as it plans to double the size of its all 737 fleet over the coming decade. Including options for 45 more aircraft, that booking is projected to be worth about $5 billion to Boeing based on list prices.
The tourist airline that flies more than 175 routes between Europe and Turkey carries more than 10 million passengers annually.
"Building on the resounding success of our strategy in the post-pandemic period, SunExpress is now poised for next-level growth to meet market demand and achieve a greater international footprint," stated CEO Max Kownatzki. "Over the next decade, we will more than double our fleet, reaching a 150-aircraft fleet by 2033. Also, the addition of the 737-10, the newest 737 MAX plane with up to 230 seats, to our fleet will allow us to strengthen our capacity further.”
The 737 MAX-10 was recently cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration to begin test flights, and Boeing has confirmed it expects to make the initial deliveries of that variant in 2024.