Air France, KLM switch wide-body orders

KLM Boeing 787-9 at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Photo: © Jan-Hendrik Fiedler / IFN

After months of speculation whether KLM will retain its order for seven Airbus A350 aircraft, Air France-KLM CEO Benjamin Smith announced that the order will indeed be taken over by Air France.

Air France on the other hand will hand over six of the remaining seven Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner it has on order to KLM. The other 787 will be delivered to the French flag-carrier in May next year. Air France will then operate a total of 10 Dreamliner aircraft.

The A350, which were set to be delivered from 2021, are now complementing Air France’s original order for 21 of the type with the first one arriving in September this year, according to Air France.

KLM will operate a total of 27 Boeing 787 Dreamliner once the six additional frames are delivered, consisting of 13 787-9 which are already in service, further ordered 787-9, and the larger 787-10, of which the first one was due to arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport this Saturday morning, but is delayed by a few days.

This switch is considered to be part of a larger program to improve efficiency and to reduce the overall complexity of all of the Group’s airlines under Benjamin Smith. This has already seen Smith ending operations of Air France’s low cost carrier Joon and regional subsidiary HOP! being integrated into Air France.