The Air France-KLM Group revealed itself yesterday as the customer that placed a previous order for nine Boeing 777-300ERs and seven 737-700s. Air France will add the 777s to its existing fleet of 46 of the type, while KLM replaces older 737s and expands its European short-haul operations. KLM plans to align the interior specification and operation of the -700s with its low-fare affiliate, Transavia.
The deal raises the total of Air France’s unfilled orders for 777-300ERs to 14. The airline holds options on another seven. The 777s will replace Air France’s aging Boeing 747-400s.
Appearing at the first jointly held order announcement since KLM and Air France completed their historic merger, Air France president and COO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon stressed the importance of the deal in terms of fuel savings and emissions control and limiting the number of airplane types in the fleet. KLM president and CEO Peter Hartman expressed environmental issues as well, citing a 20-percent improvement in CO2 emissions over the 737-700’s closest competitor.