China Aviation Supplies (CASC) has signed a $130 million contract with General Electric/Snecma for CFM56-5B4 engines to power 13 Airbus A320s for China Northwest Airlines and Zhejiang Airlines.

Under a deal already agreed with CASC, ten of the A320s will be allocated to China Northwest, and the remaining three to Hangzhou-based Zhejiang. Deliveries of the aircraft are scheduled for between 1997 and 2000, but precise dates have to still be finalised.

Xian-based China Northwest has asked that its first three aircraft be delivered in 1997, while Zhejiang also wants its first two A320s that year. Airbus, however, is having difficulty finding enough available slots.

The CFM56-powered aircraft are among 30 A320s ordered by CASC in April. The first 17 have been allocated to China Southern Airlines and will be powered by International Aero Engines V2500 power plants (Flight International, 4-10 September, P16).

CFM International and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) also opened their new joint Aero Engine Maintenance Training Centre on 1 September. The $17 million unit is close to the CAAC's central flying college in Guanghan, in Sichuan province.

The training centre is equipped with CFM56-3 and General Electric CF6-80C2 engines. There is already claimed to be a six-month backlog of student mechanics waiting to use the new centre.

See China feature, P29.

Source: Flight International