Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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The Air France-KLM Group has announced that it will order a whopping 50 Airbus A350 aircraft, with options to take delivery of a further 40.
The conglomerate expects to see the aircraft enter its fleets starting in 2026, while deliveries should be complete sometime in 2030.
“This new order will be a major step in the renewal of the Group’s fleet … [The A350] is the perfect fit for the network needs of the Group and boasts outstanding performance: 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,” said Ben Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM.
Air France-KLM Could Become Largest A350 Operator
This would be a significant order from Air France-KLM, and it calls for a mix of -900 and -1000 passenger variants and 8 freighter variants of the aircraft.
If and when this order is completed, Air France-KLM will have the most Airbus A350s of any carrier in the world. In a press release, it noted that the aircraft could be assigned to any airline in the portfolio, meaning we could see them in Air France or KLM liveries — or both.
This order would build on an existing order of 41 A350s for Air France, of which 22 have been delivered. Currently, only Air France operates the Airbus A350, so it would certainly be interesting to see the aircraft flying in KLM’s iconic blue livery, but that remains to be seen.
These brand-new aircraft will be used to replace older, less-efficient Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 aircraft. According to the airline, the A350 requires 25% less fuel than an older aircraft of a similar size thanks to the lighter materials used in its construction.
The incorporation of these new A350 aircraft would help the airline group achieve its goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 30% by 2030 when compared to 2019.Hot Tip:
While the order isn’t official quite yet, Air France-KLM seems to be “full steam ahead” on getting this deal with Airbus done. With 100 Airbus A320neo-family aircraft also on order, the airlines will have a huge number of brand-new aircraft expected to be delivered over the next several years, all of which will go a long way to making the flag carriers of France and the Netherlands much more efficient and friendly to the environment.
We’ll continue to follow this story and will share more information as we learn it — here’s hoping we’ll see some A350s in KLM’s storied livery!
Featured Image Credit: Air France-KLM Group
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