Air France and KLM to swap upcoming aircraft orders
On June 28, The Air France-KLM Group announced that it will effectively swap the remaining firm 787 and A350 orders of Air France and KLM. The move is to optimize the fleet efficiencies of both airlines through "harmonization and accelerated growth of similar aircraft," according to a press release.
Between 2021 and 2023 the six remaining 787s ordered for Air France will be transferred to KLM, and the seven A350-900s on order for KLM will likewise be transferred to Air France.
Air France currently operates nine 787-9s with an additional aircraft scheduled to arrive in May 2020. The carrier will receive its first A350-900 in September of this year. With an additional 20 on firm order and the seven A350-900s initially intended for KLM, the airline is expecting 28 of the aircraft in total.
KLM, on the other hand, operates thirteen 787-9s and will receive its first 787-10 in June. The six 787s originally intended for Air France will be added to the 21 aircraft the airline will operate by the end of 2020, bringing the number to 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," said Benjamin Smith, CEO Air France-KLM, in a statement from the company.