Farnborough, UK. 13 July 2016 . AirAsia announced that it has ordered 200 additional CFM International LEAP-1A engines to power 100 new Airbus A321neo. The order, which expands its LEAP engine fleet to nearly 730 engines, is valued at $2.7 billion U.S. at list price.

“This order for the larger A321neo is an important element in our long-term growth and expansion strategy.Choosing the right engine to power them is critical to the success of that strategy. For us, the LEAP-1A was the obvious choice. This engine has demonstrated the promised 15 percent fuel efficiency and we are quite familiar with the reliability inherent in CFM products and the impact that this has on our operation,”said Tony Fernandes, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Group.

As the single largest Airbus A320 operator in the Asia-Pacific region, AirAsia operates a fleet of 170 CFM56-5B-powered Airbus A320s with 304 still to be delivered. AirAsia began operations in 2001 and has continued to see steady growth. Today, the airline and its subsidiaries operate close to 1,000 flights per day to more than 120 destinations in 24 countries.

“We believe there is no greater endorsement of the technology choices we have made for the LEAP engine than the continued confidence of an airline such as AirAsia,” said Jean-Paul Ebanga, president and CEO of CFM International. “We are looking proving to them every that they have made the right choice.”

“We love working with AirAsia and can’t wait to get the LEAP-1A into their fleet later this year,” said Chaker Chahrour, vice president of global sales and marketing for CFM parent company GE Aviation. “In many ways, AirAsia and CFM has grown up together in the past 25 years and we are honored to be part of one of the most dynamic, successful teams in the industry today.”

The LEAP-1A engine powered the first flight of the Airbus A321neo in February 2016. The engine is on track for entry into service in mid-2016 on the initial A320neo and will provide operators with a 15 percent improvement in fuel efficiency.