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Breaking: Air France-KLM Orders 100 A320neo And Four A350F

Issuing time:2021-12-20 11:44

The Air FranceKLM Group has become Airbus’ latest conquestthis week, as the planemaker has snagged another significant order from theEuropean group. In total, the group ordered 100 A320neo family aircraft for KLMand the two Transavias, with options for 60 more. In a surprise move, the grouphas also signed up for four A350F for Air France, with options on a furtherfour.

Airbus bags Air France-KLMfor order hat trick

It’s been a good week forAirbus, as the planemaker has today snagged a third significant order in closesuccession. Following the Singapore Airlines order for the A350F earlier thisweek, and today’s news of a forthcoming order from Qantas, Airbus is shoring upits position closer to home too, with an order from Air France-KLM.

The European planemakerwas pegged as the front runnerforthe group’s fleet renewal for some time, following the issuance of a tenderearlier this year. The tender was to expand and renew the shorthaul fleet ofDutch airline KLM, as well as to update the fleet of both French and Dutchbranches of Transavia.Today, the Air FranceKLM group has announced a firm orderfor 100 A320neos alongside purchase rights for an additional 60 aircraft. Theorder covers Airbus A320neo and Airbus A321neo aircraft. The first deliveriesare expected in the second half of 2023. The group stated that these aircraftwill operate medium-haul routes in Europe, notably from Amsterdam-Schiphol –KLM’s global hub and Transavia Netherlands’ main base, and from Paris-Orly,Transavia France’s main base.

The A350F as well

It seems Airbus is keen topush its A350F to new customers, with the airline group also signing a letterof intent (LOI) for four of the freighter jets. Added to this is a purchaseright for another four A350Fs, all headed for the Air France fleet.Christian Scherer, AirbusChief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International commented,

“We are honoured with Air France-KLM Group’s foresight, after anin-depth evaluation, to acquire the latest generation Airbus A320neo Familyaircraft and A350F to modernise its European medium, shorthaul, and cargofleets. This milestone decision shows again that an aircraft’s value liesprimarily in performance, reliability, fuel efficiency and reduced CO2emissions, all criteria in which the Airbus product line excels. We are veryproud to be awarded this decision and to be part of the future of these iconicairlines, Air France, KLM and Transavia.”

The choice of Airbus willbe a kick in the teeth for Boeing, as all are Boeing narrowbody customers atpresent. KLM flies 47 737NGs for its short-haul needs, which average almost 15years of age across the fleet. Transavia has 39 737s, averaging 11.8 years ofage, while Transavia France has 54 737800s with an average age of 9.1 years.None of these airlines presently fly the A320 family of jets.

What a week for Airbus

Airbus is having anexcellent close to the year, with significant order news coming in left, rightand center. Just yesterday,Singapore Airlines signed a commitmentforseven A350F, the new freighter variant of Airbus’ popular widebody plane. SIAbecomes the third customer for the new cargo plane, after ALC booked an orderat the Dubai Air Show, and CMA CGM followed it up with an MoU for four.Earlier today,news came in from QantasthatAirbus was the chosen supplier for its future narrowbody fleet. The Australianflag carrier intends to purchase 40 aircraft from both the A320neo and the A220families and wants to hold options for a further 94. Although the deal is notexpected to be formally announced until June next year, it’s still a majorfeather in the cap of the European planemaker.Adding Air FranceKLM toAirbus’ order hat trick today really is the icing on the cake. Although theplanemaker is looking likely to miss its 2021 delivery target by some measure,things are beginning to look up as the year draws to a close.

FromBy Joanna Bailey December 16, 2021

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