Gulf Air, the Kingdom of Bahrain’s national carrier, and CFM International have today signed an agreement for the purchase of 58 LEAP-1A engines to power 17 Airbus A321neo and 12 A320neo aircraft and an additional 7 spare engines to support the operation. The firm engine order is valued at approximately $1.9 billion U.S. at list price, including a long-term service agreement. The aircraft order was announced in January 2016.
To support its fleet, the airline has also signed a 10-year Rate Per Flight Hour (RPFH) agreement. Throughout the term of the agreement, CFM guarantees maintenance costs for all of Gulf Air’s LEAP-1A engines on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.
Gulf Air has been a CFM customer since 1992 and currently operates a fleet of 16 Airbus A320ceo aircraft powered by CFM56-5B engines. Going forward, the airline will welcome 17 Airbus A321neo and 12 A320neo aircraft alongside 10 Boeing Wide Body aircraft – due for delivery commencing in early 2018. Gulf Air’s incoming fleet will facilitate the long-term expansion capabilities for the airline’s future network requirement. The modern fleet will herald a new era for Gulf Air as it continues to enhance its product and service offering.
Marking the announcement, Gulf Air Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Captain Waleed Abdulhameed Al Alalawi, said: “CFM International are a key and longstanding partner for Gulf Air, with whom the airline has worked closely for over 2 decades. Our selection of this engine for our incoming Airbus aircraft is significant, reflecting the reliability and expertise afforded by CFM products. This is integral to our ongoing strategic development and I am pleased to call CFM International Gulf Air’s partner of choice as we move ahead with our long term plans to shape the future trajectory of our carrier.”
“It is highly gratifying when an airline of this stature makes your products such an essential part of its operations,” said Gaël Méheust, president and CEO of CFM International. “We are honoured to be a part of this team and to be a part of Gulf Air’s continued growth and success. The CFM56-5B engines they currently operate have performed very, very well over the years. We know that the LEAP-1A engines will bring even greater benefits and we can’t wait to help them induct this advanced technology into their fleet.”
The LEAP engine entered commercial service in August 2016 and is providing its more than 20 operators with a 15 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, with an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions; and lower noise and NOx emissions. To date, the fleet in service has logged more than 75,000 engine flight cycles and more than 350,000 engine flight hours while maintaining CFM’s industry-leading reliability.