FARNBOROUGH, England - VARIG, Latin America's largest airline, has selected engines from GE Aircraft Engines and CFM International to power 39 Boeing aircraft in an engine order with a potential value of more than $500 million.

CFM International is a 50/50 joint company of Snecma of France and General Electric Co. of the U.S.A.

The aircraft and engines ordered by Brazil-based VARIG are:

  • Four firm, four option Boeing 777-200ER (extended range) aircraft powered by the GE90 engine;
  • Six firm Boeing 767-300ER aircraft powered by GE's CF6-80C2 engine;
  • Ten firm 737-800 aircraft powered by the CFM56-7 engine;
  • Four firm, 11 option 737-700 aircraft powered by the CFM56-7 engine.

Delivery of the firm 767 orders begins in 1999, the 737 aircraft orders in 2000, and the 777 aircraft in 2001.

"We are extremely proud of VARIG's continuous confidence in our engines," said John Mor, GE general manager for Southern Europe, Africa, and Brazil. "This engine selection furthers our significant and long-running relationship with VARIG, which currently operates more than 75 aircraft powered by GE and CFM engines. These new engine orders reflect the reliability and advantageous cost of ownership inherent in our products."

Approximately 30 percent of all 777 aircraft in service and on order are powered by GE90 engines; however, more than 40 percent of the newer, best-selling 777-200ER aircraft are powered by the GE90. GE's CF6-80C2 engine for VARIG's 767 aircraft is the best-selling engine in its thrust class, with the 2,500th CF6-80C2 delivered earlier this year.

The CFM56-7 engine, with more than 2,000 in service and on order, is the world's best-selling commercial jet engine as the powerplant for Boeing's record-breaking Next-Generation 737 family.