In conjunction with the state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to India, Mumbai-based Akasa Air and the France-origin company CFM International announced a significant agreement on Friday. This deal involves the purchase of CFM LEAP-1B engines to power a total of 150 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes, the sale of which was officially disclosed last week. The comprehensive agreement also encompasses spare engines and a services contract, further solidifying the partnership between Akasa Air and CFM International.
Akasa Air, which initiated its operations in August 2022, had previously placed orders for a total of 76 LEAP-1B-powered 737-8 aircraft. Notably, 22 of these aircraft are currently in service. Vinay Dube, the Founder and CEO of Akasa Air, expressed confidence in the enduring collaboration, stating, “This significant, long-term agreement is testament to the confidence that CFM International has in Akasa Air. Continuing to partner with CFM as our engine maintenance provider not only reaffirms our focus on operational reliability but equally underscores Akasa Air's relentless pursuit of world-class safety.”
Dube went on to emphasize the strategic importance of this collaboration, highlighting the airline's ambition to become one of the top 30 leading airlines globally by the end of the decade. The announcement of this new order also extends CFM's presence in India, with over 400 CFM-powered aircraft currently in service and an impressive backlog of 2,500 LEAP engines.
GE Aerospace and Safran Aircraft Engines, the parent companies of CFM International, have made substantial investments in India, establishing state-of-the-art facilities dedicated to LEAP production and maintenance. These initiatives align with India's "Make in India" policy, emphasizing the nation's commitment to fostering growth and collaboration in the aerospace sector.
Gael Meheust, President and CEO of CFM International, highlighted the operational benefits of LEAP-powered fleets, citing 15 to 20 percent better fuel efficiency and the highest reliability and daily utilization rates in this thrust class. Meheust emphasized that this latest order will continue to deliver these advantages to Akasa Air, supporting their ongoing expansion and playing a pivotal role in India's economic development.
(With Agency Inputs)