EVENDALE, OHIO - debis AirFinance has placed a $100 million order for CFM56-5B engines to power 10 firm Airbus Industrie A320 family aircraft scheduled to begin delivery in 2003.

debis AirFinance, an aircraft leasing company based in Amsterdam, is a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler and major German banks. The new A320 family aircraft are part of the company's aggressive fleet expansion program. This is the first new CFM56 engine order from debis AirFinance, although the company currently owns CFM56-powered aircraft through sale-leaseback arrangements with several airlines.

The CFM56-5B engines, produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma of France and General Electric of the United States, will power A319, A320 and A321 aircraft for debis AirFinance; the company will determine the mix of aircraft at a later date. The CFM56-5B's full interchangeability across the A320 family will provide debis AirFinance complete leasing market flexibility to match its customers' aircraft requirements.

"CFM's global market presence and the high quality of the product have been the key factors in our decision to include the CFM56-5B engines into our fleet program on a larger scale." Said Frank Haspel, CEO of debis AirFinance. "CFM engines have become extremely popular with our customers and the order we have now placed enables us to match our engine choice to future market needs."

"We are delighted to see that debis AirFinance, whose portfolio already includes CFM-equipped aircraft, will rely on proven CFM power for a substantial share of a new order that reflects their commitment to growth, " said Jean-Pierre Cojan, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing for CFM. "We look forward to being part of debis AirFinance's success in the next millennium."

Since entering service in 1994, the CFM56-5B engine has accumulated more than 2.2 million engine flight hours with exceptional reliability in terms of dispatch reliability (99.98 percent), shop visit rate (0.054), and in-flight shutdown rate (0.000) based on a 12-month rolling average. More than 250 CFM56-5B-powered A320 family aircraft are currently in service. Since the program was launched, the CFM56-5 engine has been chosen to power 60 percent of the A320 family aircraft ordered.