AF-KLM is to send out tender requests to Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer for short haul aircraft likely to number around 150 in total.
The requirement to replace older elements of the Air France A320 family fleet is becoming urgent, and KLM needs to be looking at 738-700/800 replacements.
AirFrance is also in need of looking at its HOP! Regional brand which has a wide range of small aircraft types that need rationalising and replacement.
Embraer must be in a strong position, with the E2 an ideal replacement for many regional aircraft, and AF’s small fleet of A318’s.
Little however is likely to divorce AirFrance from Airbus for larger aircraft, and the lack of inter-operability between KLM’s 737 fleet and AF’s A320’s is one that needs to be addressed. I’d be surprised if KLM got to keep 737’s in the longer term.
The group requirement is to have the first deliveries start by mid 2021.