Qatar Airways has chosen CFM International LEAP-1A engines to power its new fleet of 50 Airbus A321neo family aircraft in a deal valued at 4$ billion including service contracts. The airline has placed the largest A321neo order in the Middle East.

Together with the order for the new LEAP-1A engines, Qatar Airways also announced on November 13, 2019, a deal with CFM a Rate-Per-Flight-Hour (RPFH) support agreement to cover its entire fleet of LEAP-1A engines, including spares. The agreement is valued at $4 billion at list prices.

“We chose the LEAP engine based on its proven efficiency in commercial operation,” commented Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker. “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”.  

Out of more than 250 aircraft in its fleet, as the Gulf carrier states, 121 are Airbus airplanes. According to the European manufacturer’s latest orders and deliveries figures, Qatar Airways is awaiting delivery of another 82 jets, including the 50 A320neos and another 32 A350-1000s (the airline was the launch operator of both the A350-900 and the larger -1000 model).

Qatar Airways already operates a fleet of 38 A320ceo family aircraft (32 A320ceo and five A321ceo jets), of which eight are powered by CFM56-5B engines. The first LEAP-1 powered A321neo is scheduled to be delivered in 2020.

CFM International is a 50/50 joint company between GE and France’s Safran Aircraft Engines. According to the company, the fastest-selling engine family in history, LEAP, has more than 18,600 orders and commitments, including spare engines, booked through August 2019.

Among the recent deals, CFM announced on October 17, 2019, it finalized an order for 26 LEAP-1A engines to power Air Vistara’s 13 new A320neos, in addition to the 37 leased airplanes from the A320neo family ordered in July 2018 and the 10 leased aircraft already in service. 

Alongside the engine order, the Indian carrier also inked a long-term RPFH agreement for the maintenance of the 120 LEAP-1A engines that power 60 A320neo and A321neo jets in service or in order. The total value of the service agreement and the engine order is more than $2.4 billion at list prices.

READ MORE:
 
Emirates’ President Tim Clark is running out of patience when it comes to continuous engine and aircraft performance setbacks. Speaking with reporters on September 4, 2019, Clark expressed his weariness of reliability challenges with new aircraft and said that the airline would not take delivery of new Airbus and Boeing jets unless the plane makers and engine manufacturers – Rolls-Royce, General Electric – get their act together.