Air France-KLM Board Approves Orders for A350s, 787s

 - September 16, 2011, 6:01 AM

The Air France KLM Board of Directors approved the group’s planned firm order for 50 long-haul aircraft, consisting of 25 A350 XWBs and 25 Boeing 787s. Plans call for the contracts, still subject to the conclusion of negotiations with the manufacturers, to include options on another 35 of the Airbus models and 25 Boeings.

The orders follow with Air France-KLM’s plans to replace, in the medium-term, its current 200- to 350-seat aircraft and “support the group’s growing operations.” Consistent with the group’s provisional fleet plan, the order will result in the operation of 43 Airbus A350-900s and 30 Boeing 787-9s by 2024. The company expects the first Boeing 787-9 to enter service with KLM in 2016 and the first Airbus A350-900 with Air France in 2018. Later, plans call for both airlines to operate both types of aircraft.

According to a statement released by Air France-KLM today, it will choose the engine type for Boeing 787-9s at a later date. Of course, the Airbus A350-900 will come equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, still the only engine on offer for the that airplane.

The group plans to sign memoranda of understanding with Airbus, Boeing and Rolls-Royce before inking firm contracts before year-end.