EVENDALE, OHIO -- CIT Group, Inc., the U.S.-based leasing and long-term finance company, has expanded its CFM56-powered aircraft fleet with a $100 million order for CFM56-5B engines to power 10 Airbus Industrie A320 family aircraft.

In June, CIT placed a $100 million order for CFM56-7 engines to power 10 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft scheduled for delivery between 2001 and 2003.

CFM56 engines are produced by CFM International (CFM), a 50/50 joint company between Snecma of France and General Electric of the United States.

The CIT Group is the world's largest publicly held commercial finance organization with more than $50 billion in managed assets. CIT offers customized leasing and financing packages, specializing in operating leases for commercial airlines. CIT Aerospace currently manages a portfolio of more than 200 leased commercial aircraft in service with more than 70 airlines worldwide.

"CIT's recent order for both Airbus and Boeing aircraft clearly establishes its expansion in the operating lease market. CFM is delighted that CIT has selected CFM56 engines to power a significant portion of these new aircraft and looks forward to supporting CIT's continued growth and success," noted Tom Curtis, CFM sales director for North America sales.

The CFM56-5 is the engine of choice for the A318/A319/A320/A321 aircraft family. These engines have been selected to power more than 1,240 of the nearly 2,150 A320 family aircraft ordered to date. The CFM56-7 is the exclusive powerplant for the Next-Generation 737-600/-700/-800/-900 series. This is the fastest-selling engine/aircraft combination in history, with orders for 1,217 aircraft from 61 airlines placed since the program was launched in 1993.