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SOURCE: ANI

In conjunction with the state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to India, Akasa Air and CFM International announced an agreement to purchase more than 300 CFM LEAP-1B engines to power 150 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes, the sale of which was announced last week. The agreement by Akasa Air, India’s newest airline, also included spare engines and a service contract.

The Mumbai-based operator launched its operations in August 2022 and had previously ordered a total of 76 LEAP-1B-powered 737-8 aircraft, of which 22 are currently in service. The carrier launched its first commercial flight on August 7, 2022, to support the growing civil aviation demand across India. “This significant, long-term agreement is testament to the confidence that CFM International has in Akasa Air.

Continuing to partner with CFM as our engine maintenance provider not only reaffirms our focus on operational reliability but equally underscores Akasa Air’s relentless pursuit of world-class safety,” said Vinay Dube, founder and CEO of Akasa Air. “With CFM as our long-term engine maintenance provider, we remain confident in our path to becoming one of the top 30 leading airlines in the world by the turn of this decade,” he added.

This new order grows CFM’s footprint in India, with more than 400 CFM-powered aircraft in service and 2,500 LEAP engines in the backlog. Both CFM’s parent companies, GE Aerospace and Safran Aircraft Engines, have also significantly invested in India to build state-of-the-art facilities dedicated to LEAP production and maintenance, while signing strategic partnerships with Indian aerospace companies as part of the “Make in India” policy.

“Our customers, including Akasa, are seeing 15 to 20 percent better fuel efficiency with their LEAP-powered fleets and it has the highest reliability and daily utilisation rates in this thrust class,” said Gael Meheust, president and CEO of CFM International. CFM International is a Franco-American aircraft engine manufacturer. The company is a joint venture between GE Aerospace and Safran Aircraft Engines and is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

“Today’s order will continue to bring these benefits to Akasa and support their continued growth, as well as play an important role in India’s economic development,” Gael Meheust added. The LEAP engine family has the fastest accumulation of flight hours in commercial aviation history, amassing more than 45 million engine flight hours and 18.7 million flight cycles. Since entering service in 2016, the LEAP engine has helped operators save more than 30 million tons of CO2 compared to the same flights with previous-generation engines.