Air France-KLM today finalised an order with Airbus for 25 A350-900 aircraft plus a further 25 on option.
The deal was signed into place at the Paris Air Show in the presence of Alexandre de Juniac, chairman and CEO of Air France-KLM Group and Fabrice Brégier, chairman and CEO of Airbus.
The A350-900 will reduce fuel consumption by over 15 per cent compared to current aircraft and will also significantly reduce noise and gas emissions. The first test flight of an A350 XWB took place in Toulouse last week (see online news, June 14).
Mr de Juniac said: "This order of new-generation, high-performance aircraft reflects the importance of our investments for the benefit of our customers, whose comfort is at the heart of our concerns.
"With the A350, Air France-KLM will continue to operate one of the most modern fleets in the world, and ensure the growth of its long-haul activity, while achieving significant cost savings."
The A350-900 will be equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Air France-KLM today signed a memorandum of understanding with Rolls-Royce on equipping its A350 with these engines.
This contract with Airbus finalises the order for 50 aircraft – 25 A350-900s and 25 Boeing 787-9s – announced in September 2011. In December 2011, Air France-KLM also signed a contract to acquire 25 firm orders for Boeing 787-9s with another 25 on option.
This joint order of long-haul aircraft between Air France and KLM aims to replace the 200/350-seater aircraft currently in the fleet in the medium term.
The first B787-9 aircraft is due to enter into service with KLM in 2016 and the first A350-900 will enter into service with Air France in 2018. In the future, the two airlines will operate both types of aircraft.