Air France-KLM will order 50 firm Airbus A350s to which will be added purchase rights for 40 additional aircraft. But a door still seems ajar for the Boeing 787-10 and 777-9.
50 more Airbus A350s to be received
Air France-KLM will therefore order 50 firm Airbus A350s with purchasing rights for 40 additional aircraft. For the first time, the Franco-Dutch group is taking the step of the A350-1000 since its previous order did not include any. As of August 31, 2023, Air France-KLM still had 17 Airbus A350-900s to receive alongside four A350Fs. Deliveries of the 50 additional aircraft are announced from 2026 and lasting until 2030. “This will be a scalable order, offering the Group the flexibility to allocate the aircraft to its different companies depending on the dynamics of the market and the local regulatory framework”, underlines the group. It remains to be seen how many of the A350-1000s are intended to replace the Boeing 777-300ER.
A door still open for the Boeing 787-10 and 777-9?
The aircraft which will be ordered “will replace previous generation aircraft which will be gradually withdrawn from the Group’s fleet in the years to come: Airbus A330s as well as Boeing 777s”, indicates Air France-KLM. “Airbus A330s as well as Boeing 777s”, not all A330s and 777s. An ambiguous formulation which seems to leave a door ajar to the Boeing 787-10 and Boeing 777-9. It is now up to the latter to realize its long march towards certification.
A little nod to 90 years?
In the meantime, this upcoming order from Airbus seems like a nod to the 90 years of existence that Air France is celebrating: 50 firm aircraft + 40 purchasing rights = 90. Nice, right?