FARNBOROUGH, England - GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has expanded its fleet of CFM56-5-powered Airbus Industrie A319/A320/A321 aircraft with a firm order for up to 40 new airplanes. The engine order is valued at approximately $400 million.

The CFM56-5 engine is produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma of France and General Electric of the United States.

GECAS, an industry leader in the aircraft leasing field, now has more than 90 CFM56-powered A320 family aircraft in service or on order. In addition, GECAS has 190 CFM56-3- and CFM56-7-powered 737s on firm and option order. GECAS's new A320s are scheduled to begin delivery in 2003.

Since launching the A320 in the mid 1980s, the CFM56-5A and -5B have been the launching engines on every subsequent A320 family aircraft model introduced. The first CFM56-5-powered A320 entered service in 1988. The CFM56-5A and CFM56-5B engines power more than 60 percent of the A320 aircraft ordered to date.

The CFM56-5 has been the launching engine on each A320 aircraft model introduced, and has been selected to power 1,099 of the 1,785 A320 family aircraft on order or, 62 percent of sales. CFM has also been selected as the engine supplier of choice by the industry's largest A320 operators.

One of the primary factors behind the CFM56-5's broad-based market acceptance has been its simple, rugged architecture, which gives it the highest reliability, durability, and repairability in its class. In addition, CFM continually invests in technology enhancements that make the engines even better.