Air France to place its biggest Airbus order in a decade

Air France should place an order for 50 to 70 Airbus A220 aircraft for its short and medium-haul network, with an option to purchase additional aircraft of the same type.

The acquisition is expected to be confirmed on July 30, 2019, according to Le Journal du Dimanche. It is the first large order placed by the French flag carrier since 2011 when it ordered 25 Boeing 787-9 and 25 Airbus A350-900.

Reuters had reported last week that Air France was also trying to also acquire “dozens” of A320neo to replace 40 earlier versions of the Airbus A320. According to PlaneSpotters’ data, the carrier’s oldest A319 aircraft is close to 23 years old. But “no purchase of A320neo is planned,” says Le Journal du Dimanche.

Airbus and Air France did not confirm the new order. The airline said that “no decision has been taken at this stage” on the renewal of its aging medium-haul fleet.

The A220, former Bombardier CSeries, can carry between 100 and 150 passengers depending on the version and has an effective range of 6000 km (3,730 miles). The list price of an A220-100 is $62 million, and an A220-300 $71 million. No estimate was given for the value of the Air France deal, but it should amount to several billion.

On July 31, 2019, Air France will present its financial results for the first half-year, along with the strategy for the current fleet of 289 aircraft and its acquisitions. In May 2019, the recently appointed CEO Ben Smith presented a voluntary redundancy plan with the aim of reducing its ground staff in France by 465 positions.


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