Cathay Pacific places $1bn order to equip Airbus A321neo aircraft with LEAP-1A engines


Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Group has placed an order with CFM International for the delivery of LEAP-1A engines, which will be used to power its new fleet of 32 Airbus A321neo aircraft.

The new order is valued at around $1bn at list price and delivery is scheduled for 2020.

The new aircraft will be operated by Cathay Pacific Group’s regional airline unit Cathay Dragon upon delivery, and are intended to replace and modernise the company’s existing single-aisle fleet of 23 aircraft, which comprises 15 A320s and eight A321 jets.

Cathay also aims to continue its expansion in the Asia-Pacific region with the deployment of its new A321neo fleet. The company currently flies 47 aircraft to 56 regional destinations.

In addition, Cathay Pacific Group has signed a long-term Rate per Flight Hour (RPFH) maintenance agreement with CFM International to receive guaranteed maintenance costs on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.

"The new aircraft are intended to replace and modernise the company’s existing single-aisle fleet of 23 aircraft, which comprises 15 A320s and eight A321 jets."

CFM International president and CEO GaëlMéheust said: “Although the CFM56-5C engines powered Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A340 aircraft for 20 years before the aircraft’s retirement earlier this year, this is the first time the airline has selected CFM engines for single-aisle aircraft.”

A total of 18 customers are currently using LEAP engines on more than 85 aircraft, serving four continents.

US-based aircraft leasing company Air Lease previously selected CFM International’s LEAP-1B engine to power 12 new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in August.

Air Lease is set to install the engines on-board five 737 MAX 7 and seven MAX 8 planes. 

The engine order is worth approximately $348m at list price and deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2022.