Air Arabia, the first and largest low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, today announced the selection of the CFM56-5B engine to power its 44 Airbus A320 family aircraft order announced in 2007. This new engine selection, which will more than double the airlines CFM56-5B powered A320 fleet, is valued at more than US$620 million at list price.
Together with the engine selection, Air Arabia also signed a multi-year Rate per Flight Hour (RPFH) service agreement for its CFM56-5B fleet. The RPFH is a comprehensive maintenance program customized to Air Arabia specific needs under which CFM guarantees the maintenance cost on a dollar per engine flight hour basis. “Air Arabia enjoys a long track record of operational excellence,” said Adel Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia. “Our fleet growth strategy and the partners we work with, contributes to maintaining this record. We look forward for a long partnership with CFM in powering our new aircraft order”.
Air Arabia became a CFM customer in 2003 when the airline started operations with a CFM56-5B-powered Airbus A320. The airline, which is the winner of the A320 Family Operational Excellence Award by Airbus, currently operates a total fleet of 23 CFM56-5B-powered A320s and the airlines confirmed order of 44 A320 aircraft is schedule to begin delivery later this year. Air Arabia, which serves more than 60 destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, was ranked first on Aviation Week’s TPC chart as 2009 world’s best LCC.
"We are obviously very pleased by Air Arabia’s selection of the CFM56-5B engine to power its A320 fleet,” said Eric Bachelet, president and CEO of CFM. “We have established a great relationship with the airline as an operator and are really looking forward to working more closely with them through the RPFH agreement to service and support its growing fleet.”
CFM56-5B engines are a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran group) and GE. CFM, the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines, has delivered approximately 21,000 engines to date.