Lion Group has selected CFM International’s CFM56-5B engine to power 60 Airbus A320ceo, winning one of the most hotly sought after deals in the Asia-Pacific engine sector in recent years.
The agreement is valued at more than US$1.2 billion. The aircraft order was announced in March 2013.
Lion's current fleet of Boeing 737s is powered by CFM engines, which appear to have given CFM an edge over Pratt & Whitney/IAE.
Although Lion said no decision has been made on the engines for the 109 Airbus A320neo and 65 A321neo aircraft that the group has on order, CFM's LEAP engine will now be in the driving seat.
The selection of CFM also suggests that Lion may have cooled on Bombardier's CSeries, which is powered by Pratt & Whitney's geared turbofan. The airline said last year it was considering the CS300 variant.
Lion Air had previously said that the engine order would greatly depend on the willingness of the engine OEM selected to set up a joint venture with Lion Technic - the announcement came at the latter's new MRO facility on Batam Island, near Singapore. However, the deal made no mention of a joint venture.
Lion Air has been a CFM customer since the year 2000 and recently took delivery of its 100th CFM56-7B-powered Boeing 737 aircraft.
"Our selection of the CFM56-5B engine for the A320ceos was an obvious choice for us,” said Rusdi Kirana, Lion Group founder and president director. "Although we are introducing a whole new engine type, it is coming from the same company that has been with us from the very beginning. Our relationship with CFM has grown as our airline has grown and we know first-hand that these engines will provide a world-class combination of economic efficiency, reliability, and time on wing that will help realize our plans for continued growth.“
All of Lion Group’s new engines will be the CFM56-5B Performance Improvement Package (PIP) configuration. The PIP became the new production configuration for the CFM56-5B in 2011. The improvements, which is providing a 0.5% improvement in fuel burn, include hardware changes to the core, including new high-pressure turbine blade, as well as manufacturing changes the fan and compressor blades and vanes to improve performance retention.