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Air France-KLM Group will order 50 Airbus A350 family aircraft as renewal of its long-haul fleet

Download: Printable PDF Date: 26 Sep 2023 12:58 (UTC) categories:
Air France-KLM Group will order 50 Airbus A350 family aircraft as renewal of its long-haul fleet - Airlines publisher
Dana Ermolenko
Country: France Aircraft: Airplanes

Air France-KLM Group plans to place a landmark aircraft order to pursue the renewal and rationalization of its long-haul fleet, to the benefit of the Group’s environmental and economic performance. This Group order will cover 50 Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000 aircraft - with purchase rights for 40 additional aircraft - with first deliveries expected in 2026 through to 2030. This will be an evolutionary order, providing the Group with flexibility to allocate aircraft within its portfolio of airlines, according to market dynamics and local regulatory conditions.

The Airbus A350 symbolizes the transition to a more sustainable air transport industry. The aircraft consumes 25% less fuel than an equivalent-sized, previous-generation aircraft, thanks to the use of lighter materials: 53% composites and 14% titanium. Its noise footprint is also reduced by 40%.

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% CO2emissions per passenger kilometer by 2030 .”

These aircraft will replace previous-generation aircraft, namely Airbus A330 and older Boeing 777 aircraft.This new order will come in addition to an existing Air France-KLM order for 41 Airbus A350-900s for Air France, of which 22 have been delivered to date. Air France-KLM will also be among the launch customers of the Airbus A350 Full Freighter version of the aircraft, having ordered 8 aircraft to renew and expand its cargo fleet. With these combined orders, covering up to 99 aircraft, Air France-KLM would become the world’s largest A350 family aircraft operator.

Fleet renewal is the Group’s primary lever to immediately cut CO2 and noise emissions. Alongside the use of sustainable aviation fuel and eco-piloting techniques, it is one of the pillars of the Group's decarbonization trajectory, which aims for -30% CO2 emissions per passenger/km by 2030 compared to 2019. Since the 2000s, Air France-KLM has reduced its noise footprint by 40% and the Group continues to work with all its stakeholders to adapt its operations. By 2028, the share of new generation aircraft in the Air France-KLM fleet will reach 64%, compared to 5% in 2019.

As of September 25, 2023, Air France-KLM operated a fleet of 533 aircraft to over 300 destinations worldwide. Once this 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. This order remains subject to standard company approvals.

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