Why it’s been a very good week for this West Chester-based jet engine maker

Final assembly of the CFM56-5B jet engine produced by GE Aviation joint venture CFM International.

Combined ShapeCaption
Final assembly of the CFM56-5B jet engine produced by GE Aviation joint venture CFM International.

It’s been a good week for a Butler County-based jet engine manufacturer.

CFM International, a West Chester-based company evenly owned by GE and French company Safran Group, announced Thursday it was awarded about $13.2 million for a Department of Defense contract for one spare P-8A Poseidon aircraft engine for the government of the United Kingdom.

Work will be performed in Villaroche, France (55 percent of the contract order) and Evendale, Ohio (45 percent). It’s expected to be completed in January 2020, the military said.

The Naval Air Systems Command at the U.S. Navy base in Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting agency.

Earlier this week, the company said it and Viva Air had finalized Viva Air’s selection of CFM engines to power its fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft. The order is valued at $3.2 billion list price, and it includes LEAP-1A new engines to power 35 A320neo aircraft, CFM56-5B new engines to power 15 A320ceo aircraft, and an aftermarket support contract for the LEAP-1A engines.

Deliveries of the A320ceo aircraft began in 2018, and the first A320neo is scheduled for delivery in 2020. To support its A320neo fleet, Viva Air also signed a Rate Per Flight Hour agreement with CFM Services.

The LEAP engine family is the fastest-selling in aviation history with more than 17,355 orders and commitments booked February 2019, the company said.

Viva Air is a group of low-cost airlines based in Colombia and Peru created by Irelandia Aviation. It operates national and international flights in more than 21 destinations and in 2019 will carry 7.5 million passengers.

Safran developed and manufactures the fan at the front and the low-pressure system at the back for each CFM engine. GE provides the middle section, or the core, according to Jamie Jewell, director of strategic communications for CFM International

“The final assembly is also split 50/50 and is broken down by aircraft manufacturer,” Jewell told this media outlet. “The engines for Seattle-based Boeing are assembled in the U.S.; Airbus is based in Toulouse, France, and Hamburg, Germany, so those engines are assembled in France.”

The UK deal is for a Boeing airplane, so the CFM56-7B engines will complete final assembly in Evendale, with Safran shipping the fan and low-pressure system to the United States, she said.

GE will ship the engine cores to Villaroche, France, for final assembly of the CFM56-5B (Airbus A320ceo) and LEAP-1A (Airbus A320neo) engines for the Viva Air order.

In March, Vietnam’s VietJet Air and CFM International finalized an agreement for the airline to purchase 200 LEAP-1B engines to power 100 additional Boeing 737 MAX airplanes along with an extension of the airline’s current Rate Per Flight Hour (RPFH) agreement to include the new engines.

The agreement, which includes 15 spare engines, is valued at $5.3 billion.

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