Tunisian carrier Syphax Airlines has ordered three Airbus A320neos and three Airbus A319s and A320s, according to engine manufacturer CFM International.
Syphax Airlines, which is based at Sfax-Thyna International Airport in Tunisia, has selected CFM International LEAP-1A and CFM56-5B engines, respectively, to power the A320neo and A319/A320 aircraft it has ordered.
The airline will receive its first ordered A320 in 2015, while the Airbus A320neo jets are scheduled to begin delivery in 2019. CFM International values the firm engine orders at $145 million at list price.
“These engines are the right choice for our growing airline,” says Mohamed Frikha, chairman of Syphax Airlines. “CFM56 engines have [a] sterling reputation for reliability and low cost of ownership and we have had very good experience with them. We have every confidence that the LEAP product line will be just as good and are looking forward to introducing these into our fleet.”
Syphax Airlines also plans to introduce five additional leased A320s over the next few years, according to CFM International.
At present the carrier operates two leased, CFM56-5B-powered Airbus A319 jets, on routes linking its two main hubs, Sfax-Thyna International Airport and Tunis-Carthage International Airport, with Tunisian domestic destinations and destinations in countries such as France, Germany, Libya, and Turkey.
“LEAP technology will provide double-digit [percentage] improvements in fuel burn, noise, and carbon and NOx emissions and we believe these engines will prove to be real assets for Syphax as support [for] its long-term growth,” says Jean-Paul Ebanga, president and CEO of CFM International.
According to CFM International, the 15 per cent better engine fuel efficiency, at current fuel prices, which the company says the LEAP-1A engine will offer on Airbus A320neo-family aircraft translates to as much as $1.6 million in fuel cost savings for customers per aircraft, per year.
Franco-U.S. joint venture CFM International says LEAP technology will also achieve double-digit percentage improvements in CO2 emissions and noise levels, all while providing the same very high levels of reliability and low maintenance costs achieved by the CFM56 family, the world’s highest-selling family of commercial jet engines.
Launched in 2011, Syphax Airlines is the first private Tunisian “hybrid” airline. Syphax hopes to help expand the regional economy by providing essential access from Sfax-Thyna International Airport and Tunis-Carthage International Airport to a network of destinations in the Mediterranean basin and elsewhere.