EVENDALE, Ohio - Cincinnati-based COMAIR regional airline has announced the purchase of Bombardier 50-passenger Canadair CRJ-100 and new 70-passenger CRJ-700 airliners powered by the GE CF34 family of engines, in an engine order valued at more than $140 million.

The order totaling 50 firm and 115 options significantly expands COMAIR's CF34-powered fleet, already the largest in the world, and underscores the growth and continued strong customer acceptance of one of GE's most popular engine lines.

COMAIR was the U.S. launch airline for the CF34-3A1-powered CRJ-100, which has been in scheduled service with the airline since 1993. The CRJ-100 order will bring the COMAIR 50-passenger fleet to more than 110 aircraft with 45 options. COMAIR's 70-passenger CRJ-700 will be powered by a 14,000-pound-thrust-class growth model of the CF34, the -8C1, which is currently in an advanced stage of development and scheduled for FAA certification in the fourth quarter of 1999. This order involves 20 firm CF34-8C1-powered CRJ-700's plus 70 options.

"We, of course, are very grateful to COMAIR for once again placing their confidence in GE," said Frank Klaus, general manager of GE's Small Commercial Engines Operation. "The excellent performance of our CF34 engine has made a significant contribution to the success of COMAIR's 50-passenger service, and we look forward to maintaining that record as their current fleet continues to expand. We're confident that we will deliver the same high level of performance and service for our CF34-8C1 on COMAIR's 70-passenger CRJ-700."

The CF34 entered airline service in 1992 and has accumulated more than 2,650,000 engine flight hours with 18 operators. The engine's record for departure reliability, shop visits, and in-flight shutdowns is one of the best in the airline industry.