This week, Virgin America announced that it would be spending $1.4 billion to install 60 LEAP jet engines across its fleet by 2016.
The quieter, more fuel efficient engines from GE will power 30 current generation Airbus A320s and 30 new Airbus A320s beginning in 2016.
The engines could reportedly save the airline up to $1.6 million in fuel costs annually for each aircraft while increasing range by 400 miles and cutting engine noise by up to 15 decibels. The more efficient engines will also drastically cut back on emissions of greenhouse gases.
So, what about biofuel? Purchase of the new engines doesn’t seem to signal a policy shift from the first airline to complete a biofuel-powered flight.
Virgin America says it remains committed to its goal of using 10% biofuel in its aircraft by 2020. However, CEO David Cush believes the integration of these new engines will allow the airline to remain a step ahead of the competition as fuel prices continue to wreak havoc on the industry.
Source: Fast Company