When GE Aviation says that the CFM LEAP engine is all over the world, they mean it.
With a year-end delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to Mauritania Airlines in Africa, CFM International’s new LEAP engine is now providing power for airlines based in five continents.
It is part of the unprecedented airline service ramp-up for the LEAP engine since entering service on the Airbus A320neo in August 2016.
In just 18 months, the LEAP engine fleet in service has grown to 215 aircraft – and counting. The aircraft breakdown is about 140 LEAP-powered Airbus A320neos and about 75 LEAP-powered Boeing 737 MAXs now flying for 34 operators.
“I’d talk more about this, but hold on – I think we just delivered another LEAP engine!” said Allan Paxson, vice president for CFM International.
And there’s no slowdown in the ramp rate for several years. By 2021, five years from the LEAP’s initial service entry, the number of LEAP engines in service will surpass the total of its predecessor CFM56 engine in its first 25 years of airline service.
With more than 450 LEAP engines delivered in 2017, CFM International is pursuing the delivery of up to 1,200 LEAPs in 2018 – a figure that further grows in 2019.
CFM, a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines, is currently producing 20 LEAP engines a week across three LEAP engine assembly sites in the U.S. (Lafayette, Indiana; and Durham, North Carolina) and Villaroche, France.
CFM has LEAP orders and commitments exceeding 14,270 engines.
Perhaps more impressive LEAP’s record-breaking production ramp-up: LEAP performance in the field. The utilization rate for the LEAP-powered single-aisle aircraft across the five continents is 96 percent – an outstanding achievement for a new commercial jet engine.
“Airlines make their money when the airlines are flying passengers,” Paxson said. “This utilization rate means these new LEAP-powered airplanes are flying virtually whenever they are scheduled. I am so proud of the LEAP team at both GE and Safran.”