Qatar Airways announced it has ordered CFM International LEAP-1A engines to power its new fleet of 50 Airbus A321neo family aircraft, placing the largest A321neo order ever in the Middle East.
In addition, the national airline of the State of Qatar has also signed with CFM a Rate-Per-Flight-Hour (RPFH) support agreement to cover its entire fleet of LEAP-1A engines, including spares, for a combined total value of $4 billion U.S. at list price.
Qatar Airways has been a CFM customer since 2015 and currently operates a fleet of eight CFM56-5B-powered A320ceo family aircraft. The first LEAP-1A-powered A321neo is scheduled to be delivered in 2020.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We chose the LEAP engine based on its proven efficiency in commercial operation. This engine addresses our strategy to operate a state-of-the-art fleet with the most advanced technologies in the industry, while expanding our network and maintaining the best flexibility for our customers.”
“We are excited to take another step forward in our partnership with Qatar Airways. This agreement shows the continued confidence this airline has in our products and we look forward to working closely with them to introduce the fuel-efficient LEAP engine into their fleet. We also look forward to supporting Qatar Airways’ continued growth and maintaining lower operating costs,” said Gaël Méheust, president and CEO of CFM International.
CFM International’s advanced LEAP engine continues to set a new industry standard for fuel efficiency and asset utilization as the fleet continues the most rapid buildup in commercial aviation history, with the fleet logging more than five million engine flight hours through October, three years after commencing commercial service.
Qatar Airways, the world’s fastest-growing airline, currently operates a modern fleet of more than 250 aircraft via its hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), to more than 160 destinations worldwide. A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline' by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organization Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World's Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite.
The LEAP-1A engine is a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines. The LEAP engine family is the fastest-selling in aviation history with more than 18,750 orders and commitments, including spare engines, booked through September 2019.