The Air France-KLM Group is to place an order for 50 Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000 aircraft – with purchase rights for 40 additional aircraft.
As part of the group’s wide body fleet programme, Air France-KLM will begin taking delivery of the aircraft in 2026, with the order due to complete by 2030.
The group described the order as “evolutionary”, saying it provided “flexibility to allocate aircraft within its portfolio of airlines, according to market dynamics and local regulatory conditions”.
Airline CEO Benjamin Smith said: “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 favourite 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% CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre by 203.”
These aircraft will replace previous-generation aircraft, namely Airbus A330 and older Boeing 777 aircraft.
Air France-KLM order book
This new order will come in addition to an existing 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 eight 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.
The Airbus A350 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%.
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.
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