At a special ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia today, Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) finalized its order with CFM International for LEAP-1B engines to power 25 firm Boeing 737 MAX aircraft scheduled to begin delivery in 2019. The order is valued at more than $630 million U.S. at list price. The airplane order was announced in late July.
The LEAP-1B engine, which is the sole powerplant for the Boeing 737 MAX family, incorporates many industry firsts, including the 3-D woven carbon fiber composite fan blade and case; the one-of-a-kind debris rejection system; fourth-generation 3-D aerodynamics; the first commercial use of ceramic matrix composites (CMCs); the revolutionary combustor design featuring fuel nozzles grown using additive manufacturing; and light-weight Titanium Aluminide airfoils. The lower weight and higher durability these components provide will result in a 15 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, with an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions; a 50 percent margin to new emissions regulations; a dramatically lower noise signature; CFM’s industry-leading reliability and low overall operating costs.
The signing was attended by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia; Tan Sri Mohd Nor Mohd Yusof, Chairman of Malaysia Airlines Berhad; and Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of General Electric (GE), parent company of CFM. CFM International is a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.
“We have been very happy with the CFM56-7B engines we operate and believe the new LEAP engine will bring even better operating economics in terms of fuel efficiency with the same reliability we have come to expect from CFM, “said Peter Bellew, Group Managing Director and CEO of Malaysia Airlines.
Malaysia Airlines also has purchased rights for 25 additional LEAP-1B-powered Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The airline, a long-time CFM56 operator, currently has a fleet of 54 CFM56-7B-powered Boeing 737-800 aircraft.