The Cathay Pacific Group and CFM International have finalized an order for the advanced LEAP-1A engine 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 will be operated by Cathay Dragon, the group’s regional carrier, replacing and modernizing its existing single-aisle fleet of 15 A320s and eight A321s, while supporting the airline’s continued expansion in the Asia-Pacific region.
The group also contracted for 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.
“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.
Gaël Méheust, president and CEO of CFM International, said, “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.”
LEAP engines are a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines. The LEAP engine family has 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.
The LEAP offers operators a 15% improvement in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to the CFM56 engine, along with reductions in engine noise.