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Air France-KLM Approaches Airbus And Boeing For 160 New Aircraft

The Air France-KLM Group has issued a tender to both Airbus and Boeing for up to 160 new short and medium-haul aircraft. The Group CEO Ben Smith told local publications that this would be the largest order inside the Group’s history, plus would be used in order to renew and extend typically the fleets of KLM in addition to Transavia.

KLM 737
Some of KLM’s narrowbodies are ripe for renewal. Photo: KLM

It seems airlines are getting back into this shopping mood, as attention turns from mitigating often the crisis to preparing with regard to a better future ahead. Following United’s buster order for narrowbody aircraft replacements recently, now Air France-KLM is touting around regarding its future aircraft requirements.

Reporting throughout Reuters suggests that the Group is seeking because many as 160 plane for its short and even medium hall needs, both for the KLM branch of the group and for your low-cost subsidiary Transavia . The Group has tendered to be able to both Airbus and Boeing for options, with a view for you to ‘renewing and extending’ the exact fleets.

The particular order was revealed after CEO Ben Smith had been quoted as saying that the very Group had approached Airbus and Boeing for around 160 new jets. Speaking in an interview to Het Financieele Dagblad , he said,

“We’ve done the little bit in this area, it’s been on the agenda since 2004, but it is never been put around place as it is now. I am very pleased to be able to put together this purchase, the largest in the group’s history. ”

Transavia
The order would be the largest in the group’s history. Photo: Transavia

The aircraft on the table have not been revealed, but it’s likely that will both manufacturers will come back with proposals including their latest generation narrowbody jets. The newest narrowbodies possess proven their worth on ever longer routes, together with are likely to become preferable to small widebodies both in terms of purchase price and operating costs.

A split order, or almost all eggs in one basket?

KLM is very much a Boeing airline. Despite placing an order intended for A350s in the past, in a end, these were transferred to help Air France to operate. Similarly, Air flow France’s reaming Dreamliner orders have been shifted across to the Dutch airline. Its current narrowbody fleet is made up of Boeing 737s, just about all NG variants, with average fleet ages from just over 10 years for the main -700s up to almost 20 years for the -900s.

The two Transavias , Transavia France and additionally Transavia Airlines (Netherlands), are usually also Boeing narrowbody operators. Transavia France operates 50 737-800s, with an average fleet age of 8. 9 years, according to ch-aviation. com . Transavia Netherlands offers 39 narrowbodies, mostly 737-800s along with four smaller 737-700s. These are aged around 10. 6 years for the -800s, although the -700s are much older, averaging 18. 3 many years across the fleet.

The natural buy sway would go towards Boeing, for the 737 MAX aircraft. These would be the logical successors for the NGs, having commonality with their predecessors in terms of tooling and pilot qualifications. There is, however, some additional training required following the aircraft’s lengthy grounding, but that’s unlikely to be a huge drawback.

Boeing 737 MAX 7
The MAX family might be the natural successor. Photo: Boeing

The big unknown here is whether finally, the airlines will follow in that footsteps of their parent companies, splitting the national arms between manufacturers. Transavia France would naturally have got much of its MRO completed at Air France facilities, and this airline is really much an Airbus operator. Air France undertakes short and medium haul operations with a fleet associated with more than 100 A320 family aircraft; could Transavia France be pulled towards one of the A320neos to align with its local airline?

For now, we will have to wait and see, but having another big order potentially on any table for either manufacturer is a sign regarding renewed confidence that the actual aviation industry very much needs right now.

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