The Air France-KLM Group said it has taken the next step in optimisation of the long-haul fleets of Air France and KLM after swapping the remaining firm Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 orders between them.
The implementation of the swap between the airlines means from 2021-2023, the six remaining Boeing 787 ordered for Air France will be transferred to KLM, and the current seven Airbus A350-900s on order for KLM will be transferred to Air France.
The airline group said this was done to “realise fleet efficiencies through harmonisation and accelerated growth of similar aircraft at both airlines”.
Today, Air France operates nine Boeing 787-9s and one additional aircraft is scheduled to arrive in May 2020, resulting in a fleet of 10 Boeing 787-9s for Air France next year.
In addition, Air France will receive its first Airbus A350-900 in September 2019. It has already an additional 20 on firm order to which will be added the seven A350-900s initially intended for KLM, for a total of 28 aircraft.
KLM presently operates 13 Boeing 787-9s and will receive its first Boeing 787-10 in June 2019. This fleet will further grow to a total of 21 Boeing 787s by the end of 2020 to which will be added the six Boeing 787s initially intended for Air France for a total of 27 aircraft.
Options for further fleet development at Air France within the Air France-KLM group is currently under study, in consultancy with all stakeholders.
“This is the first step towards harmonising and simplifying the Air France-KLM Group fleet at its two major airlines,” said Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM.