Air France-KLM Group has confirmed its order for 60 Airbus A220-300s. The aircraft will all be operated by Air France and will replace its fleet of single-aisle A318 and A319. That is on top of a firm order for 10 additional wide-body A350XWBs that the Franco-Dutch airline group placed earlier this December.
It is the largest Airbus A220 order from a European carrier to date, according to the manufacturer. “We thank Air France for the confidence placed in Airbus and for its investment in our latest technology aircraft,” Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer said in a press release.
A memorandum of understanding was signed in late July 2019, for 60 Airbus A220-300s, with an option for 30 and an additional 30 purchase commitments, for a total estimated at $7.2 billion.
The acquisition of the A220 (formerly Bombardier CS300), the only aircraft specifically designed for the 100-150 seat market segment, is part of Air France-KLM fleet renewal and consolidation initiated by the recently appointed CEO Benjamin Smith. “This aircraft is perfectly adapted to our domestic and European network and will enable Air France to operate more efficiently on its short and medium-haul routes,” said Smith at the time.
Air France-KLM currently operates a fleet of 159 Airbus aircraft. As for the Airbus A220, it had an order book of 530 aircraft at the end of November 2019. The European manufacturer recently celebrated the 100th aircraft of the A220 program to be assembled.
Earlier in the month, on December 11, 2019, Air France-KLM announced it placed a firm order for 10 additional wide-body A350-900s, which will take its total order for the type to 38 aircraft. “Rationalising and modernising the fleet is central to our effort to regain our leading position in Europe,” Smith commented at the time. The A350 XWBs are intended to be operated by Air France.