Industry Air France-KLM Group to purchase up to 90 Airbus A350 family aircraft

The Air France-KLM Group has announced a major order for Airbus’ A350 Family aircraft program. The Group seeks to acquire up to 90 aircraft to modernise long-haul operations.

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European airline group Air France-KLM has announced plans to purchase up to 90 Airbus A350 aircraft from manufacturer Airbus. The group seeks to become the world’s largest operator of the aircraft family. Initially, an order will be placed for 50 firm A350-900s and A350-1000. If needed, the group then holds purchase rights for additional 40 aircraft.

This landmark order would mean the beginning of a major long-haul aircraft fleet overhaul, as older Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 aircraft would be replaced. With the A350XWB, the group’s airlines can operate more cost and fuel efficient, quiet and therefore more environmentally friendly.

Deliveries are set to begin in 2026 through 2030 and this order comes years after Air France-KLM ordered 41 Airbus A350-900s for Air France, of which 22 have already been delivered to the French flag-carrier.

Picture Copyright: Air France-KLM

Air France-KLM CEO Benjamin Smith commented: "This new order will be a major step in the renewal of the Group’s fleet. The Airbus A350 is a state-of-the-art aircraft with an excellent track record at Air France, where it has rapidly become a favorite among passengers and crew since its entry into service in 2019. It is the perfect fit for the network needs of the Group and boasts outstanding performances: it is a quieter, more fuel efficient and more cost-effective aircraft compared to previous generations. It will be instrumental in helping the Group reach our ambitious sustainability targets, including -30% CO2 emissions per passenger kilometer by 2030.”

In addition to the ordered passenger variants of the A350, Air France-KLM will also be among the launch customers for the Airbus A350 Full Freighter version, as the group placed an order for eight of such aircraft.

Air France-KLM is one of the largest airline groups in Europe. As of September 2023, their airlines operated a fleet of 533 aircraft to over 300 destinations worldwide. Once this latest order is placed, the Group will have over 220 aircraft on order, including 100 Airbus A320neo family aircraft, with first deliveries expected by the end of 2023, as stated by the group.

Source © / Picture Copyright: Airbus - Master Films - Jean-Baptiste Accariez

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