GE Aircraft Engines Wins Saudia Orders
EVENDALE, Ohio - Based on exhaustive technical and commercial evaluations, the Saudi Arabian Airline Corporation (Saudia) has selected GE Aircraft Engines' GE90 and CF6 engines to power 32 new widebody aircraft.
Saudia selected the GE90 to power 23 Boeing 777 widebody aircraft, with delivery to begin in 1997 and continue through 2001. The engine will be rated at 90,000 pounds takeoff thrust for the Saudia 777 aircraft.
GE's CF6-80C2 engine was selected to power the airline's five Boeing 747s and four McDonnell Douglas MD-11 freighters. The 747s begin delivery in 1997 and continue through 2001; the MD-11 freighters will be delivered in 1997.
"We are delighted to serve Saudia, the flag carrier for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a major new customer for us," said Eugene F. Murphy, President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Aircraft Engines. "Saudia's selection of GE engines for its new widebody fleet is an outstanding endorsement of the unequaled quality and reliability of our product line. This is a strategic win and demonstrates our continued industry leadership, especially in the Middle East. GE is the leading engine supplier for the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), providing Saudia the added advantage of pooling its technical and material resources with other member nations.
"This order is also a tribute to the hard work and dedication of our employees," said Murphy. "GE engines are the most reliable in the world because of the outstanding pool of talent that we have to draw from and their commitment to quality and customer value."
Saudia is one of the 30 largest airlines in the world, carrying more than 12.5 million passengers annually and currently experiencing 6 percent growth in revenue passenger miles. The airline will use the new aircraft to expand current routes and replace existing aircraft. Saudia, which serves 52 destinations worldwide, is studying new routes to South Africa, Eastern Europe, China, and Russia and is expanding service to the U.S.
The GE90, certified at 84,700 pounds takeoff thrust earlier this year, is completing certification flight testing on the 777 and is scheduled to enter service with British Airways later this year. Development of the 92,000 pound thrust GE90-92B, to be derated to 90,000 pounds thrust for Saudia, is on schedule for engine certification in 1996. More than 80 percent of the testing required for this certification was achieved as part of the initial GE90 certification program.
The CF6-80C2 is the most reliable engine in its thrust class and powers more than 50 percent of the current-generation widebody aircraft market. The CF6-80C2 powers, or has been selected to power, more than 1,100 widebody aircraft.
In addition to Saudia, GE large commercial engines are currently in service or on order with the following Middle Eastern customers: Alyemda, EgyptAir, Emirates, Gulf Air, Iran Air, Kuwait Airways, Middle East Airlines, Royal Jordanian, THY, and Qatar Airways.