Bahrain’s Gulf Air has finalised a $1bn order to procure 65 LEAP-1A engines from CFM International, a joint venture (JV) firm comprising GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.

The new engines will be used to power Gulf Air’s new fleet of Airbus A320neo family aircraft.

Under the agreement, CFM International will supply LEAP engines for 17 A320neo and 12 A321neo aircraft.

The LEAP engine currently is used by more than 100 operators worldwide.

The engine is said to offer a 15% improvement in fuel efficiency and reduces carbon dioxide and NOx emissions compared with other similar engines.

“This state-of-the-art combo will be definitely a key asset of our sustainable growth in the near future.”

CFM has been delivering aircraft engines to Gulf Air since 1992. The Bahraini carrier presently operates 16 Airbus A320ceo aircraft, which are powered by CFM56-5B engines.

Gulf Air CEO Krešimir Kučko said: “We are delighted to expand our long-term relationship with CFM International. We have been operating CFM engines for three decades, and we are excited to introduce the LEAP engine into our new fleet of A320neo family aircraft.

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“This state-of-the-art combo will be definitely a key asset of our sustainable growth in the near future.”

The introduction of the new Airbus A320neo fleet is expected to enable Gulf Air to introduce new routes and strengthen its footprint in the Middle-East.

Safran Aircraft Engines president Olivier Andriès said: “It is an honour to celebrate this agreement, which reflects Gulf Air’s confidence in the CFM products.

“We are committed to further develop this great collaboration while providing Gulf Air with the proven efficiency and reliability that are the trademark of the CFM LEAP engines.”