AirFrance is set to order as many as 70 A220 series to replace is A318/319 fleet and up to 50 A320neo to replace its ageing A320 fleet.
The order is the first part of a major development – AirFrance-KLM CEO Ben Smith is said to want KLM to move to Airbus as well, replacing its old 737 fleet.
KLM is already phasing out the 737-700 and hasn’t yet gotten a replacement for them or it’s 738’s.
The question remains on what to do with the Transavia fleet, which is also 737’s.
While KLM has managed to stay fairly independent there seems to be no point to the merger if inter-operability on single aisle aircraft is off the agenda.
IAG has finally gotten to grips with various airlines having similar but not inter-operable aircraft. All new versions have the same basic layout and can be internally re-branded in half a day with seat covers and logos. Externally a full re-branding can be done in three days. The average time to rebrand say a BA to a Vueling A320 was ten days, now it’s three.
AF-KLM have got to make these things happen in the modern aviation world and in a highly competitive European market.