BANGKOK, Thailand --- With a 57-minute flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai on April 2, Thai Lion Air became the first airline to launch commercial service with Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplanes powered by CFM International's LEAP-1B engines.
Thai Lion Air has been a CFM customer since it began operations in 2013. In addition to the MAX 9, the airline also operates 28 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft powered by CFM56-7B engines to 22 destinations throughout Southeast Asia.
The LEAP-1B entered commercial service with Thai Lion Air's sister airline, Malindo, in May 2017. There are now nearly 100 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes in service with 24 operators worldwide. The engine is providing these airlines with a 15 percent improvement in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to the CFM56-7B engines, along with dramatic reductions in engine noise and exhaust gaseous emissions.
All this technology is focused on providing better utilization, including CFM's legendary reliability out of the box; greater asset availability; enhanced time on wing margins to help keep maintenance costs low; and minimized maintenance actions, all supported by sophisticated analytics that enable CFM to provide tailored, predictive maintenance over the life of the product.
Thai Lion Mentari Co. Ltd, trading as Thai Lion Air, is a Thai low-cost airline, operating with Thai partners as an associate company of Lion Air Group, together with Lion Air, Wings Air, Batik Air, Lion Bizjet and Malindo Air. The carrier operates from Bangkok's Don Mueang International Airport, with plans to serve domestic and international scheduled flights from other cities in Thailand.
LEAP-1B engines are a product of CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines and the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines. Through March 2018, the company has garnered orders and commitments for more than 15,000 LEAP engines, making it the fastest-selling engine in aviation history.