Virgin Australia orders LEAP-1B-powered 737 MAX aircraft

July 09, 2012

FARNBOROUGH, England -- Virgin Australia has finalized a firm order for 23 advanced LEAP-1B-powered Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes.

Virgin Australia has been a CFM customer since its official launch in August 2000 and currently operates a fleet of 68 CFM56-7B and -7BE powered Next Generation 737-700s and 737-800s.

"We are delighted to continue our long-standing relationship with Virgin Australia," said Jean-Paul Ebanga, president and CEO of CFM International. "We are honored by their continued confidence and welcome the opportunity to bring the LEAP-1B and the industry's most advanced technology to Virgin Australia's operations to help support the airline's continued success."

"Virgin Australia is a very important customer to CFM, and we welcome the opportunity to demonstrate our continued commitment with the new LEAP-1B engine", said Kevin McAllister, vice president of Sales for CFM parent company GE Aviation.

The LEAP-1B, which is the result of a exhaustive six-year collaboration effort with Boeing, is the exclusive powerplant for the new 737 variant, with the engine uniquely optimized for the airplane. The 737 MAX continues a 30-year relationship between CFM and Boeing; CFM engines have been the sole powerplant for all 737 aircraft sold since 1981.

LEAP engines incorporate technologies never before seen in the single-aisle aircraft segment. The new engine will combine advanced aerodynamic design techniques, lighter, more durable materials, and leading-edge environmental technologies, making it amajor breakthrough in engine technology.

LEAP engines incorporate revolutionary technologies never before seen in the single-aisle aircraft segment. The new engine combines advanced aerodynamic design techniques, lighter, more durable materials, and leading-edge environmental technologies, making it a major breakthrough in engine technology.

As a result, operators of the 737 MAX will achieve 10 - 12 percent lower fuel burn compared to today's best CFM56-powered 737; an equivalent reduction in carbon emissions; a 50 percent reduction in NOx emissions versus current ICAO CAEP/6 requirements; a 75 percent reduction in the aircraft noise footprint; all while maintaining the benefits of CFM's legendary reliability and low maintenance costs.

LEAP engines are a product of CFM International a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran group) and GE.

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