Air France and KLM confirm swap of 787 and A350 on-order
French airline to receive KLM Airbus as Dutch partner to stay with Boeing aircraft not yet delivered
The Air France-KLM group confirmed on Friday that the two airlines will make an exchange of aircraft in order between them, as rumors have already revealed.
The purpose of the swap is to optimize the use of the new generation wide-bodies Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. Currently, the two companies operate the Dreamliner jet, but both have orders for the European aircraft as well. While Air France has nine 787-9 in its fleet KLM has already received 13 aircraft units.
With the new plans, Air France will have seven A350-900 from KLM that will join the 21 others ordered and that will have the first airplane will be delivered in September.
KLM, meanwhile, will inherit six Boeing 787s from Air France, adding up to the end of 2020 27 airplanes, including the new 787-10, which would have the first plane delivered in June on June 29 but eventually delayed.
“This is the first step towards harmonizing and simplifying Air France-KLM Group fleet in its two major airlines,” said Benjamin Smith, Air France-KLM CEO.
For now, Air France will maintain 10 Boeing 787-9 in its fleet – the tenth aircraft is scheduled for delivery in May 2020 – but the group admits that “further fleet development is currently under study, in consultancy with all stakeholders” the company said in a statement.