Air France-KLM orders additional ten Airbus A350-900s for Air France

©Air France KLM

The Air France and Air France-KLM Boards of Directors have reached a decision concerning the replacement of Air France’s Airbus A380s and have approved an order for ten Airbus A350-900s. With this decision, Air France-KLM is pursuing its fleet rationalization and simplification strategy.

KLM is already well on its way to simplifying its long-haul fleet which will ultimately consist of only Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft, sharing a common pilot type rating.

At Air France, this upcoming order will bring the total number of A350 aircraft to 38, including three that have already been delivered. This is the next step for Air France as it pursues the same fleet simplification strategy. As a result, in 2023, the Air France long-haul fleet will consist of 116 aircraft split among only four families: Airbus A330s and A350s, and Boeing 787s and 777s. As at KLM, this will bring Air France greater operational flexibility, as well as the opportunity to make significant economies of scale, thanks in particular to reducing the number of pilot qualifications to three by 2023 – Airbus A330/A350, Boeing 787, and Boeing 777.

These new-generation aircraft will replace the Airbus A380s currently in operation at Air France and which are to be retired between now and the end of 2022. The arrival of these new aircraft will also allow the company to accelerate the departure of the Airbus A340s during the first quarter of 2021.

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