GE Aviation in Wilmington gearing up for increased production

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GE Aviation’s Wilmington facility is revving up for heightened production, thanks to a spate of new engine orders from abroad.

At the Dubai Air Show today, Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Emirates Airline jointly announced Emirates’ order for 50 Boeing 777-3000 ER (extended range) planes. According to the announcement, the airline’s order – estimated at $18 billion -- is the largest aircraft order ever, in terms of monetary value.

That translates to $6 billion in new orders for GE Aviation, since two GE90-115B engines will power each of the 777s. Included in the engine sale is a 12-year maintenance contract.

GE’s Wilmington facility will provide high-pressure turbine disks, spools, fan disks and mid seals for the new engines.

“Emirates is the largest GE90-115B-powered Boeing 777-300ER operator in the world, and this order further solidifies its commitment to this phenomenal aircraft/engine combination,” said David Joyce, president and chief executive officer of GE Aviation. “The GE90 engine continues to outperform our expectation in fuel burn, reliability and durability.”

The airline is aggressively expanding its long-haul capabilities with the addition of new aircraft. At present, Emirates flies to 115 destinations in 67 countries.

New orders for the GE Aviation/Snecma CFM56 engine will also increase activity at GE Aviation’s Wilmington facility.

At the Dubai Air Show Monday, Lufthansa German Airlines selected CFM56-5B engines to power four Airbus A320 aircraft and Garuda Indonesia Airlines chose the same engine to power 15 A320 aircraft -- a collective total of $330 million in orders, at list price.

Locally, GE employees make forward shafts, spools and HPT disks for this CFM engine.

The GE Aviation/Snecma joint venture, CFM International, has built more than 1,000 engines each year since 2007, and is on track to produce more than 1,300 in 2011.

Source: Greater Wilmington Business Journal (http://www.wilmingtonbiz.com/industry_news_details.php?id=2967)