Tel Aviv-based Arkia Israeli Airlines has selected CFM International’s advanced LEAP-1A engine to power its four new Airbus A321neos, in an order valued at $112 million at list prices.

Arkia originally ordered the aircraft in July 2012 to be configured in a single all-economy class seating 220 passengers, the airline said at the time.

Arkia will be the first airline to operate the LEAP engine in Israel, CFM said. The A321neos are slated to be delivered to Arkia beginning in 2018.

“We chose the LEAP engine after a very thorough evaluation,” Arkia president and CEO Nir Dagan said April 26. “CFM has a good reputation for customer support, reliability and low cost of ownership; from everything we’ve seen, the engine is also delivering the promised fuel efficiency.”

CFM’s LEAP-1A engine entered service in August 2016, as the first A320neos powered with the LEAP-1A were delivered to Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines. The LEAP-1A-powered Airbus A321neo gained its type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency and FAA in March 2017.

Through March 2017, CFM has tallied orders for over 12,230 LEAP engines across its three versions: the LEAP-1A developed for Airbus’ A320neo family, the LEAP-1B developed for Boeing’s 737 MAX family, and the LEAP-1C developed for COMAC’s forthcoming C919.

CFM is a 50-50 joint venture between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines.

Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G geared turbofan (GTF) engine is the alternate engine option for Airbus’ A320neo family. The first A320neo powered by the PW1100G engine entered service with Lufthansa in January 2017.

Mark Nensel