Air France-KLM to place its largest plane order to date

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Air France-KLM is set to place a massive order to renew and expand the medium-haul fleet of KLM and Transavia.

Chief Executive Officer Ben Smith approached both Boeing and Airbus for an order of around 160 aircraft, according to the Dutch daily Het Financieele Dagblad. 

“It’s been on the agenda since 2004, but it’s never been put in place as it is now,” Smith told the publication. “I am very pleased to be able to put together this order, the largest in the group’s history.” 

The goal of the order will be to renew KLM medium-haul fleet and support the current network expansion of the group’s low-cost carrier Transavia.

The most likely contenders will be either the Airbus A320neo or the Boeing 737 MAX, which the group does not operate yet. 

In December 2020, Smith discussed another possibility: the replacement of the legacy A320 by a hypothetical A220-500. Adding 20 to 25 additional seats to the A220-300 would make the aircraft a direct competitor of the A320neo and the MAX 7. That option while not ruled out has yet to be concretized by Airbus.

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