Airlines Air France-KLM firms up orders for A350s and A220s

The Air France-KLM group has confirmed that it has ordered ten additional A350 XWBs and that it has firmed up the purchase agreement for 60 A220s.

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Shortly, after Air France has taken delivery of its first A350-900 XWB, the group has decided to purchase ten additional aircraft. This order takes the total backlog for the group to 38 aircraft. All of the ten aircraft are intended for Air France. The flag-carrier seeks to furthermore modernize its long-haul fleet.

“Rationalising and modernising the fleet is central to our effort to regain our leading position in Europe,” said Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM Group regarding the A350 order. “It will strengthen our performance from both an economic and operational standpoint and will help us deliver on our ambitious sustainability agenda. Offering a 25% reduction in fuel consumption compared to previous-generation aircraft, the Airbus A350-900 is a jewel of European expertise and a passenger favourite. We are excited to see it become a core asset of the Air France fleet.”

The Airbus A350-900 is the mid-sized aircraft of the XWB family. The A350-800 offers less and the A350-1000 more seats. By the end of November 2019, Airbus received 959 firm orders from 51 customers around the world. It is one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Next to the A350-order, Air France-KLM has also confirmed its purchase agreement for the 60 A220 aircraft. This order was previously announced in August as Memorandum of Understanding. The aircraft will be delivered to Air France as well.

With the A220 aircraft, Air France seeks to modernise its single-aisle fleet for European routes. The aircraft is being powered by Pratt & Whitney´s latest-generation PW1500G turbofan engines that offer at least 20% lower fuel burn per seat when compared with previous-generation aircraft.

Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, commented: “We are glad to see that Air France is endorsing the A220 as a great step towards fleet optimisation for large network carriers. The largest Airbus A220 order from a European carrier to date speaks volumes on Air France’s ambitious sustainability drive. The modern and fuel-efficient Airbus A220 will contribute to lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions significantly compared to older generation aircraft [...] We thank Air France for the confidence placed in Airbus and for its investment in our latest technology aircraft.”

Air France currently operates an Airbus fleet of 146 aircraft, including 18 Airbus A318s, 33 A319s, 43 A320s, 20 A321s, 15 A330-200s, four A340-300s, three A350-900s and 10 A380-800s. The flag-carrier is the largest airline in France and was founded back in October 1933.

Air France A350 XWB © Airbus
Air France A350 XWB © Airbus

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