The Cathay Pacific Group places LEAP-1A engine order with CFM International to power Airbus A321 neo aircraft

  •   2017-10-06

The Cathay Pacific Group and CFM International (“CFM”) have concluded an order for the advanced LEAP-1A engine, which will be used to power the Group’s 32 new Airbus A321neo aircraft. The engine order is valued at nearly US$1 billion at list price, with delivery scheduled from 2020.

The aircraft are intended to be operated by Cathay Dragon, the regional carrier of the Group, to replace and modernise its existing single-aisle fleet of 23 aircraft, comprising 15 A320s and eight A321s, while supporting the airline’s continued expansion in the Asia-Pacific region. The Group has also signed a long-term Rate per Flight Hour (RPFH) maintenance agreement with CFM International. Under the terms of the agreement, CFM will guarantee maintenance costs on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.

Cathay Pacific Director Engineering Neil Glenn said: “We are excited to have selected the LEAP-1A engine to power our incoming Airbus A321neo fleet. 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.”

President and CEO of CFM International GaëlMéheust said: “We are obviously thrilled that Cathay Pacific has selected the LEAP-1A engine to power its new A321neo aircraft. Although the CFM56-5C engines powered Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A340 aircraft for 20 years before the aircraft’s retirement earlier this year, this is the first time the airline has selected CFM engines for single-aisle aircraft. 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.”

The LEAP engine family has had an exceptional entry into commercial service with 18 customers currently operating more than 85 aircraft on four continents. Overall, the fleet has logged nearly 150,000 flight cycles and 300,000 flight hours while maintaining CFM’s industry-leading reliability and the highest utilisation rate in this thrust class. 

The LEAP is providing operators a 15 percent improvement in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to today’s best CFM56 engine, along with dramatic reductions in engine noise. All this technology is focused on providing better utilisation, including CFM’s noted reliability out of the box; greater asset availability; enhanced time-on-wing margins to help keep maintenance costs low; and minimised maintenance actions, all supported by sophisticated analytics that enable CFM to provide tailored, predictive maintenance over the life of the product.