Thursday , March 23 2023

Air France to add up to 120 A220s; accelerate A380-phase output


Air France-KLM has announced that its board has reached several strategic decisions on the future fleet configuration of its Air France (AF, Paris CDG).

In an affiliate market, the French-Dutch partner said it had committed Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) to a company order for sixty A220-300s, with an additional 30 options and 30 purchase rights. The first aircraft should be delivered in September 2021.

The group plans to use the A220s to gradually replace Air France's fleet of A318-100s and A319-100s, which are currently 18 and 33 respectively.

"With a capacity of 150 seats and an operating range of 2,300 nautical miles (4,260 kilometers), the A220-300 is perfectly suited to replace the A318 and A319 on Air France's short and mid-range. This aircraft will allow the company to increase its competition. reducing its cost per seat by more than 10% compared to the aircraft it will replace, ”it said.

About Air France's broad fleet, the group said it had now decided, in principle, to retire seven of its ten A380-800s by 2022. The group has already indicated that leases on the other three launches will not be renewed after its completion in 2020. .

Air France-KLM said the accelerated retirement is a must, given the cost disadvantage the A380 has over other wide launches.

"The current competitive environment limits the markets in which the A380 can operate profitably. With four engines, the A380 consumes 20-25% more fuel per seat than a new generation long-range aircraft, and therefore emits more CO2. Increasing maintenance costs. of aircraft, as well as cabin renovations required to meet customer expectations reduce the economic attractiveness of Air France's A380s. Keeping this aircraft in the fleet would entail significant costs, while the airline's program was suspended by Airbus earlier in 2019. , "it said.

As previously reported, Air France will absorb all of the group's A350-ordered restaurants, which are currently on twenty-one A350-900s for the French company, while KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL, Amsterdam Schiphol) has to add seven (though these wants to be changed to Air France as part of a fleet homogenization agreement in which Air France's B787 order will be restricted to its Dutch sister).

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