Virgin Blue Expands CFM56 Fleet with $100 Million Engine Order


Courcouronnes (SNECMA) - Australian low-cost carrier Virgin Blue has expanded its CFM56-7B fleet with an order for engines to power nine new Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The order is valued at about $100 million at list price and the airline will take delivery between 2008 and 2010.

CFM56-7B engines are produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma and General Electric Company. CFM is the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines, with more than 15,600 delivered to date.

Virgin Blue began operation in August 2000. Today, the airline operates an all-CFM-powered Boeing 737-700/-800 fleet of 50 aircraft on routes throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific.

All of Virgin Blue's CFM56-7B engines will be the new Tech Insertion configuration, which incorporates advanced technologies developed and validated as part of Project TECH56. Tech Insertion, which is on schedule for certification in the third quarter of this year, will provide operators with lower maintenance costs, improved oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions, and better fuel burn. CFM56 Tech Insertion includes improvements to the high-pressure compressor, the combustor, and the high- and low-pressure turbines.

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