KLM to concentrate on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Air France on the Airbus A350-900 for long-haul flights

The Air France-KLM Group has made this announcement:

Air France and KLM pursue the optimization of their respective long-haul fleets. The airlines will effectively swap the remaining firm Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 orders between them, in order to realize fleet efficiencies through harmonization and accelerated growth of similar aircraft at both airlines.

The implementation of the swap between the airlines means that in the 2021-2023 timeframe, the 6 remaining Boeing 787 ordered for Air France will be transferred to KLM, and the current 7 Airbus A350-900s on order for KLM will be transferred to Air France.

Today, Air France operates 9 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 7 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 6 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 harmonizing and simplifying the Air France-KLM Group fleet at its two major airlines” declared Benjamin Smith, CEO Air France-KLM.

KLM had the following statement:

“Both Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 are excellent aircraft. From a fleet management perspective, optimizing the number of different aircraft types KLM operates is very important for our operational efficiency and productivity. That is why KLM is happy to be able to expand the 787 fleet via this order swap. With these additional B787-10’s KLM will be ready to further develop its route network bringing in the next few years the total B787’s for KLM to 28 (13x B787-9 and 15x B787).”

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