GE Capital Aviation Services, the commercial-aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric, has announced a firm order for 60 A320neo-family aircraft at the...

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the commercial-aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric, has announced a firm order for 60 A320neo-family aircraft at the 49th Paris Airshow.

Not surprisingly, given that GE has a 50 per cent stake in the CFM International joint venture with France’s Snecma, GECAS has selected CFM’s LEAP-X1A engine for all 60 Airbus A320neo aircraft.

The deal was signed by Norman Liu, president and CEO of GECAS, and John Leahy, Airbus’ chief operating officer, customers. The new order brings the total number of A320-family aircraft ordered by GECAS to 390.

Leasing giant GECAS announced an order at the 2011 Paris Airshow for 60 A320neo-family jets, all to be powered by the CFM International LEAP-X1A engine. GECAS parent GE is a 50 per cent partner in the CFM International joint venture, France's Snecma being the other partner

Meanwhile, along with other A320neo-family deals signed by Airbus on June 20 at the Paris Airshow, the GECAS order increased the total number of orders and memorandum-of-understanding commitments received by Airbus for the A320neo family to 488 aircraft since the manufacturer launched the A320neo program in December 2010, just six months ago.

“The A320neo Family will bring fuel savings to customers while offering the same levels of in-service reliability they expect,” says Liu. “We have a solid track record of placing A320s with customers around the globe.”

Together with a firm order from SAS for 30 LEAP-X1A-powered A320neos on the first day of the Paris Airshow and an earlier order from Virgin America for LEAP-X1A engines to power 60 A320neos, GECAS’ order means the LEAP-X1A has now been ordered for 150 A320neo-family jets, about half as many as have been ordered with the rival Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1133G geared turbofan.

Well over 7,000 A320-family aircraft have already been ordered and more than 4,700 delivered to more than 330 customers and operators worldwide. Airbus says the A320neo has over 95 per cent airframe commonality with the existing A320 family, making it an easy fit into existing fleets, while offering up to 500 nautical miles (950 kilometres) more range or two tonnes more payload at a given range.

The A320neo, available from 2015, incorporates new, more-efficient engines and large wing tip devices called “Sharklets”, together aimed to deliver fuel savings of 15 per cent compared to existing A320-famaily jets. This represents up to 3,600 tonnes of CO2 annually per aircraft. In addition, the A320neo provides a double-digit reduction in NOx emissions and reduced engine noise, according to Airbus.