With the cost of air travel soaring this year due to the rising cost of fuel, many travelers have been cutting back, or not traveling at all. Today, Virgin America announced plans to switch to a new breed of energy-efficient engines that will significantly improve fuel efficiency while saving a whopping $1.6 million per airplane, per year. The energy-saving LEAP and CFM565B engines will power 30 new airbuses, in addition to 30 existing A320s.
Designed in collaboration between CFM International, Snecma and GE, the new LEAP engines improve fuel efficiency by 15 percent. Aside from fuel efficiency, the LEAP engine also produces 15 percent less CO2 emissions than other planes and it reduces Nitrogen Oxide emissions by 50 percent. The LEAP engine also cuts engine noise by 15 decibels, which is like “reducing a jack hammer to an alarm clock.” The engine orders have a combined value of $1.4 billion, and Virgin plans to add more in the future.
Although Virgin America is a newer airline, it has already built a first-class reputation for the customer service and experience it offers. The company’s investment in LEAP engines paves the way for their dedication to being environmentally responsible leaders. The transition into energy-efficient engines will also save the company millions of dollars each year.
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