Air Travel and CFM International have signed a 12-year LEAP-1A engine Rate per Flight Hour (RPFH) agreement to support the smooth operation of its A320neo aircraft to be introduced in the future. The agreement, which includes the purchase of LEAP-1A spare engines, is valued at US$992 million at list prices.
Air Travel’s fleet is 100 percent powered by CFM engines. As of September 2021, Air Travel operates a fleet of 16 Airbus A320 series aircraft, with an average age of about three years. RPFH agreements are part of CFM’s portfolio of flexible aftermarket support offerings. Under the terms of the agreement, CFM Services guarantees maintenance costs for the airlines’ LEAP-1A engines on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.
Air Travel, based in Changsha, is the first local airline in Hunan Province and began operations on May 21, 2016. The airline also operates bases in Kunming, Nanjing, and Wuxi, and is focused on building an “Internet +” boutique service.
Air China deal
Air China and CFM International celebrated the introduction, beginning earlier this year, of the LEAP-1A engine into the airline’s fleet. In addition, the two companies signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to strengthen the LEAP engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capability of Sichuan Services Aero-engine Maintenance (SSAMC), a joint venture between the two parties.
“We are delighted to be able to further our long-term relationship with CFM. High reliability and utilisation rate of engines is key to the recovery of airlines in the post-epidemic era, The LOI to build LEAP engine MRO capacity will enable SSAMC to provide better service for domestic and foreign customers and become a globally competitive aero-engine maintenance base,” said Ni Jiliang, chief engineer of Air China.
SSAMC, formally established in 2010, is a joint venture between Air China and CFM, with 60 percent and 40 percent investment respectively. It is also the first Sino-foreign joint venture dedicated to the MRO of CFM56 and LEAP series engines in China. To date, SSAMC has completed the overhaul of more than 1,000 engines and the on-wing support service of more than 1,500 engines for customers all over the world.
“Air China is both a strategically important customer and partner. We are deeply honoured to be continuously recognised by Air China.” Weiming Xiang, president of CFM International Greater China, said, “China has important to the recovery of the global narrow-body market during the pandemic. Promoting SSAMC’s LEAP engine MRO capacity is of great significance for ensuring the stable growing of LEAP engine fleet.”
The first LEAP-1A engines were delivered to Chinese customers in June 2018. At present, there are 10 airlines in Greater China operating A320neo aircraft powered by LEAP-1A engines and this fleet has surpassed two million engine flight hours to date.