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Civil Aviation
Air France should receive its first Airbus A220-300 in 2021 © KLM

| Alexandre Rocchi

Air France should receive its first Airbus A220-300 in 2021

The board of directors gave the green light for a firm order of 60 Airbus A220-300, with 30 options and 30 rights to acquire. Moreover, the ten A380 should get off the long-haul fleet by 2022.

It is official. After abundant and ever more precise rumors in the press these days, the board of directors of Air France - KLM, gathered on July 30, gave its green light for two major strategical decisions regarding the evolution of Air France’s fleet.

On short and medium-haul, Air France firm committed with an order of 60 Airbus A220-300, with a complement of 30 purchase options and 30 further rights of acquisition. With a catalogue price of €91.5 million, if the order is entirely completed it should be worth more than €8.2 billion. The first A220-300 should be delivered as of September 2021. With a capacity of 150 seats and a range of action of 2,300 NM, the A220-300 should replace Air France’s Airbus A318 and A319. The A220-300 — currently touring Asia — will allow the airline to increase its competitiveness by reducing its seats’ cost by more than 10% compared to the planes it will replace. Note that the arrival of the A220-300s should enable AFI KLM E&M to develop its competences regarding Pratt&Whitney’s engines.

Besides, the board of directors of Air France - KLM approved the exit of the seven remaining A380 by 2022. The exit of the three other aircraft had already been announced. Five of those aircraft are Air France - KLM’s property while the other two are part of a lease agreement. The current competitive environment limits the market on which the A380 can be operated in a profitable way. With its four engines, the A380 consumes 20 to 25% more fuel per seat than the new generation long-haul and emits more CO2. Air France has not yet specified what aircraft would replace its three wide-body aircraft.

A220 A380 Air France Air France-KLM

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