AirFrance-KLM announced this afternoon with Airbus, that it has made a firm order for 60 A220-300’s and has options for another 30 A220’s the type of which will be determined later. On top of that it has placed a right of acquisition on a further 30.
The 120 total order would make it the largest for the type and AirFrance the largest operator. There was no suggestion that KLM would be taking any of the order. The plan is to replace the entire A318 and A319 fleet with deliveries starting in 2021.
Air France is hoping for cost reductions of 10-15% over the current fleet. Ben Smith, Group CEO of AirFrance-KLM said:
“We are very pleased to work with Airbus to add the A220-300 to our fleet, an aircraft that demonstrates optimum environmental, operational, and economic efficiency. This is a very important next step in Air France’s transformation, and this evolution in Air France’s fleet underlines the Group’s determination to attain European airline leadership.”
This really is a massive deal for Airbus investment in what was the Bombardier C-Series, and I honestly feel for the folks at Bombardier who put their heart and soul into what has clearly proven to be a winner. It’s just sad that the company who designed it and planned it and ultimately put itself on the line for the aircraft, couldn’t see it through.