GE90 Engines Continue To Show Durability On China ETOPS Flights; China Southern Achieving Success On Longer-Range Routes
BEIJING, China - China Southern, the largest airline operating in The People's Republic of China, is bringing new meaning to successful Extended-range Twin-engine Operations (ETOPS) as a strategic operator of GE90-powered Boeing 777s in Asia.
China Southern was the first Asian customer to operate GE90-powered Boeing 777s. Since January 1996, China Southern's GE90-powered aircraft have accumulated more than 329,503 flight hours and more than 122,000 cycles.
Governing agencies typically require that twin-engine aircraft demonstrate a level of engine reliability many times more stringent than aircraft with more engines. Current ETOPS requirements limit twin-engine aircraft to routes that are at no time more than 180 minutes from a suitable diversion airfield using a single-engine. Due to increased reliability of aircraft and newer, more advanced engine technology, extensions to current limits are being considered.
"China Southern made aviation history as the first airline to launch nonstop transpacific ETOPS routes between mainland China and the United States," said Chaker Chahrour, general manager of the GE90 engine project. "Today, the GE90-powered Boeing 777 is opening new routes and destinations for customers choosing to take advantage of its recognized ETOPS performance history."
Currently, China Southern operates 20 ETOPS flights per week on three routes that include Guangzhou to Los Angeles, Guangzhou to Melbourne and Guangzhou to Sydney. More than 5 years ago, the airline was the first to fly a transpacific route using the GE90 engine.
Recently, China Southern decided to upgrade their GE90 engines with the new performance improvement program upgrade kits. The PIP kits, which are targeted for installation between 2003 and 2006, will enable China Southern to operate GE90 engines initially certified at 76,000- and 90,000-pounds thrust to have the ability to achieve 94,000 pounds thrust, a significant advantage for takeoff from hot temperature / high altitude airports. With the addition of the new PIP upgrades, China Southern will now benefit from increased payload, fuel burn and maintenance cost advantages.
Snecma of France, FiatAvio of Italy, and IHI of Japan are revenue-sharing participants in the GE90 program.
GE Aircraft Engines, a division of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is the world's leading manufacturer of jet engines for civil and military aircraft, including engines produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of Snecma of France and GE. GEAE also manufactures gas turbines, derived from its highly successful jet engine programs, for marine and industrial applications. In addition, GEAE provides comprehensive maintenance support, through its GE Engine Services operation, for GE and non-GE jet engines in service throughout the world. Visit GEAE online at http://www.geae.com.