The Bahraini national airline Gulf Air agreed to an estimated $1-billion order with CFM International for 65 LEAP-1A engines, to power the airline’s new Airbus A320neo aircraft, specifically 17 A320neo and 12 A321neo aircraft, which Gulf Air placed with Airbus in 2016.
The LEAP-1A is one of three variants of a high-bypass turbofan engine developed by CFM for particular Airbus, Boeing, and Commercial Aircraft Co. of China twin-engine narrow-body jets. It is one of two engine options for the A320neo family.
The LEAP series reported to be the fastest-selling engine in aviation history, with over 17,350 orders and commitments since it was introduced in 2010. The engine builders’ boast that it achieves a 15% improvement in fuel efficiency over alternative engine options, with an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions, and reduced noise and NOx emissions.
The Airbus A320neo ("neo" is an acronym for "new engine option") developed to improve the fuel-efficiency of its A319, A320 and A321narrow-body aircraft. While the Gulf Air jet order was placed in 2016 and the engine order was placed in 2017, the airline now has finalized the purchase terms.
Gulf Air has been a customer of CFM International since 1992 and currently operates a fleet of 16 Airbus A320ceo aircraft powered by CFM56-5B engines. “We are delighted to expand our long-term relationship with CFM International,” stated Gulf Air CEO Krešimir Kučko. “We have been operating CFM engines for three decades, and we are excited to introduce the LEAP engine into our new fleet of A320neo family aircraft. This state-of-the art combo will be definitely a key asset of our sustainable growth in the near future.”
CFM is a joint-venture of GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines, with each partner separately manufacturing their joint designs.