Key Points:

  • Air France-KLM's latest acquisition includes both A350 -900 and -1000 variants, with rights to buy 40 more aircraft.

  • New aircraft to replace older Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 twinjets; deliveries to span 2026-2030.

  • CEO Ben Smith emphasizes the A350’s performance, efficiency, and alignment with the group’s sustainability goals.

A350s Set to Propel Air France-KLM's Sustainability Vision

PARIS — Air France-KLM Group has laid out plans to procure 50 Airbus A350 aircraft, a mix of the -900 and -1000 models. This significant purchase comes alongside the option to acquire an additional 40 aircraft in the future.

These advanced jets are set to be integrated into both the Air France and KLM rosters, earmarked to supersede older models like the Airbus A330 and Boeing 777. With the delivery timeframe slated between 2026 and 2030, the company points out, “This evolutionary order ensures adaptability, permitting fluid allocation of aircraft within the group’s airline subsidiaries, influenced by market shifts and varied regulatory landscapes.”

As of now, Air France-KLM’s commitment to the A350 series is evident, having ordered 41 of the -900 variant, with more than half – 22 aircraft – already added to their fleet.

The group's CEO, Ben Smith, lauded this move as a pivotal moment in the airline's journey of fleet rejuvenation. He noted, “The A350 not only aligns with our network requirements but also showcases remarkable efficiency and operational benefits. In comparison to its predecessors, it offers quieter operations, improved fuel economy, and better cost-effectiveness.”

Furthermore, Smith emphasized the role of the A350 in bolstering the group's sustainability endeavors. With this expanded fleet, Air France-KLM is poised to rise as the most prominent A350 operator. However, this distinction awaits formal approval to seal the agreement.

Powering all A350s are the exclusive Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, underpinning their high-performance capabilities.

Christian Scherer, Airbus' Chief Commercial Officer, marked this development as a testament to the enduring bond between the two aviation giants. “This agreement is a significant chapter in our longstanding partnership,” Scherer remarked.