Air France-KLM to Order 50 Airbus A350 Aircraft
Air France-KLM is set to place an order for 50 Airbus A350 aircraft, along with purchase rights for an additional 40 units, in a move aimed at accelerating the renewal of its long-haul fleet. This strategic decision would position the Group as the world's leading operator of the Airbus A350 family.
The order will be executed at the Group level and will encompass 50 Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000 aircraft, accompanied by purchase rights for an additional 40 units. Initial deliveries are expected to commence in 2026 and will continue through 2030. This flexible order will allow the Group to allocate the aircraft to its various airlines based on market dynamics and local regulatory frameworks.
Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, commented, "This new order represents a significant milestone in the Group's fleet renewal efforts. The Airbus A350 is a cutting-edge aircraft that has already proven its worth at Air France, quickly becoming a passenger and crew favorite since its introduction in 2019. It perfectly aligns with the Group's network needs and showcases outstanding performance. It is quieter, more fuel-efficient, and cost-effective compared to previous-generation aircraft. It will play a pivotal role in achieving our ambitious decarbonization goals, including a target of -30% CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometer by 2030."
These aircraft will replace previous-generation planes that will be phased out of the Group's fleet in the coming years, including Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s. This new order will complement Air France-KLM's earlier order for 41 Airbus A350-900 aircraft for Air France, of which 22 have been delivered to date.
Additionally, Air France-KLM will be among the launch operators of the Airbus A350F Cargo version, with the Group ordering 8 of these aircraft to renew and expand its cargo fleet.
Taking into account all orders placed to date, Air France-KLM is poised to become the world's leading operator of the Airbus A350 family, with up to 99 aircraft.
The Airbus A350 represents a shift towards more sustainable air travel. This aircraft offers a 25% reduction in fuel consumption compared to older aircraft of similar size, thanks to the use of lighter materials: 53% composites and 14% titanium. It also boasts a 40% reduction in noise footprint.
By 2028, the share of next-generation aircraft in the Air France-KLM fleet will reach 64%, up from 5% in 2019.