SunExpress purchase CFM LEAP-1B Engines for 737 MAX fleet

A SunExpress Boeing 737 in flight.
Photo Credit: SunExpress

In a move supporting ambitious growth plans, SunExpress, the prominent leisure carrier and joint venture between Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, has announced a commitment to order up to 180 LEAP-1B engines.

The engines will power a fleet of up to 90 Boeing 737-8 and 737-10 aircraft, with the announcement made at the Dubai Airshow on November 13. The airline also plans to acquire spare engines to support its expanding fleet.

SunExpress all-737 Fleet


SunExpress, a long-time CFM customer since its inception in 1989, currently operates an all-737 fleet consisting of 49 737-800s powered by CFM56-7B engines and 11 737-8s.

The commitment to the LEAP-1B engines aligns with the carrier’s growth strategy, intending to more than double its fleet to 150 aircraft over the next decade.

Max Kownatzki, CEO of SunExpress, emphasized the significance of the order, stating, “This new order is part of our ambitious growth strategy. We plan to more than double our fleet to 150 aircraft over the next decade to meet demand and expand our global footprint.”

“The reliability, fuel efficiency, low carbon emissions, and the support we expect with the LEAP-1B engines are integral to implementing that strategy.”

Gaël Méheust, President & CEO of CFM International, highlighted the enduring partnership, stating, “SunExpress has always been an impressive airline with its growth, and it has been our privilege to be a part of this team from the very beginning.”

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“We understand the role we play in helping it execute this long-term strategy. We are more committed than ever to keeping our promises so that SunExpress can realize its promise for the future.”

Photo Credit: CFM International

LEAP Technology


The CFM LEAP engine family, known for its advanced technology, offers 15 to 20 percent better fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions compared to previous-generation engines. Additionally, it brings a significant improvement in noise reduction.

Since its entry into service in 2016, the LEAP engine has played a pivotal role in helping airlines save more than 28 million tons of CO2.

SunExpress’s commitment to the LEAP-1B engines not only emphasizes their focus on modernization and sustainability but also positions them strategically in meeting the growing demands of the leisure travel market.

As the airline charts a course for expansion, the advanced technology and efficiency of the LEAP engines are poised to play a vital role in achieving SunExpress’s vision for the future.

This major engine order announcement at the Dubai Airshow showcases the continued collaboration between SunExpress and CFM International, bringing cutting-edge technology to the forefront of the airline’s growth trajectory.

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By Lewis Dwyer 3 Min Read
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