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SOUTHWEST Airlines orders 92 additional CFM56-3 advanced upgrade kits


EVENDALE, Ohio — Southwest Airlines has placed an order for up to 92 additional CFM56-3 Advanced Upgrade kits at a value of approximately $145 million at list price, bringing the airline’s total order to 447 kits.

CFM56-3 engines are a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (SAFRAN Group) and General Electric Company. There are 4,500 CFM56-3 engines in service worldwide. To date, CFM has received orders to upgrade nearly 1,000 of those engines.

Southwest was the launch customer of the Advanced Upgrade package in 2001 with an order for 300. The airline, which has continued to expand its initial order, has taken delivery of 355 kits to date. The remaining 92 kits will be delivered by early 2009. When the additional kits are installed, Southwest will have upgraded nearly its entire 737 Classic fleet.

“The CFM56-3 Advanced Upgrade has really proven its value in service with Southwest Airlines,” said Eric Bachelet, president and CEO of CFM. “This latest order reinforces the importance of the consistent technology investment CFM makes in the CFM56 product line and the significant fuel consumption and time on wing benefits that investment is bringing to our customers.”

The 355 upgraded engines in service provide significant fuel savings for Southwest. Reducing fuel consumption is the most efficient way to reduce aircraft emissions. This is especially true for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which directly contribute to global warming.

The Advanced Upgrade kit features three-dimensional high-pressure compressor (HPC) aerodynamics (3-D aero) and new high-pressure turbine hardware. The upgrade is installed during normal overhaul and provides significant benefits, including: up to a 1.6 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption (which directly impacts fuel burn), as well as up to 25 degrees additional exhaust gas temperature (EGT) margin, which reduces maintenance costs through longer on-wing life.


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