Air Austral Reaffirms its Selection of Engine Alliance GP7200 Engines and Fleet Management Agreement
Air Austral has reaffirmed its selection of the Engine Alliance GP7200 engines to power its two Airbus A380 aircraft and its selection of the Engine Alliance as its service provider to maintain, repair and overhaul the engines with a 10-year Fleet Management Agreement. This affirmation coincides with Air Austral's formal announcement today that it has finalized an agreement with Airbus to purchase two A380 aircraft. The engine selection and Fleet Management Agreement were announced at the 2009 Paris Air Show. The total value of the deal is worth $240 million (USD) at list prices.
Based in Saint Denis, La Reunion, Air Austral has provided service over the Indian Ocean since 1975. The airline flies to nearby Indian Ocean islands as well as locations in France, Australia, South Africa and Thailand. In January, Air Austral announced plans to have its new A380 aircraft operated in a single, economy class configuration on its high-density route from La Reunion to Paris, France, through a subsidiary airline working under a "low-cost" model.
"Air Austral's use of the A380 in a high density configuration demonstrates the flexibility of the A380," Engine Alliance President Jim Moravecek said. "We're delighted they've chosen our fuel efficient GP7200 engines to help them increase the value of this remarkable aircraft."
The GP7200 is derived from two successful wide body engine programs, the GE90 and the PW4000. It benefits from the two programs' latest, proven technologies and the lessons learned from more than 25 million flight hours of successful operation. Certified at 76,500 pounds (340 kN) of thrust, the engine has the capability to produce more than 81,500 pounds (363 kN) of thrust. In addition to being the quietest, most fuel efficient engine for the A380, the GP7200 engine has emissions that are well below current and anticipated regulations.
The GP7200 is manufactured at GE and Pratt & Whitney, with GE manufacturing the high pressure compressor, combustor and high pressure turbine, and Pratt &Whitney manufacturing the fan module, low pressure compressor and low pressure turbine. Final engine assembly is conducted at Pratt & Whitney's Engine Center in Middletown, Connecticut. GP7000 Engine Program participants include SNECMA (France), Techspace Aero (Belgium) and MTU Aero Engines (Germany).
The GP7200 entered revenue service in 2008, with the first Emirates A380. Since entering service, the GP7200-powered A380 has not had an in-flight shutdown and has demonstrated a departure reliability of 99.9%.
In addition to Emirates, the Engine Alliance GP7200 has been selected to power A380 aircraft for Air France, Korean Airlines, Etihad Airways and the International Lease Finance Company (ILFC). Air France took delivery of its first GP7200 powered A380 on October 30, 2009.
The Engine Alliance is a 50/50 joint venture of General Electric (NYSE:GE) and Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).