Air France-KLM announces small A220 jet in the shadow of Super Jumbo

Paris-Air France delivered the first compact Airbus A220 jet airliner on Tuesday, with increased comfort on short routes as Franco Holland’s parent company promoted extensive fleet shake-ups to streamline costs. We promised to reduce emissions.

A French airline, a member of the Franco-Dutch Air France-KLM Group, said a Canadian-designed 148-seat jet will consume and emit fuel after it entered Europe on a flight to Berlin on October 31. Said to reduce by 20%.

Air France ordered 60 planes in 2019 and added at least 30 options to replace the smallest members of Airbus’ single-aisle portfolio, the A318 and A319.

The announcement showed a shift in focus from the world’s largest jets to some of the smallest jets as airlines enjoy the low cost and environmental benefits of new lightweight models.

The vault built for the Air France A380 Super Jumbo, once the flagship of Air France and other major long-haul airlines, attracted 300 guests, including politicians, but the coronavirus crisis accelerated retirement. Did.

The obsolete A380 was ignored by the apron outside to remind us of the $ 150 billion seesaw strategy in the jet industry.

The A220 was developed by Bombardier, Canada, but its ambition was founded because of the lack of cash needed to lift the hangings of Airbus and its US rival Boeing. Airbus adopted the A220 program in 2018 with its iconic dollars.

Currently, Air France-KLM follows a major fleet review under CEO Ben Smith, a former Air Canada executive who vowed to simplify fragmented fleets to reduce unit costs. Fighting each other two plane-building giants for the stage.

He said the group will decide to order at least 80 new medium-range jets in the busy category just above the A220 within a few months. This will be the largest fleet transaction ever.

This follows a bid earlier this year to update and expand the operations of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ medium-range Boeing 737 aircraft and Transavia, a French and Dutch budget brand.

Time difference fleet update

According to Smith, the deal could include a confirmed purchase of 80 aircraft with an additional 60-80 options. Such deals are worth more than $ 8 billion at list price, before discounts that aircraft traders can easily exceed 50% in large numbers.

After a long relationship with KLM, some analysts suggested that the competition was a defeat for Boeing, but Smith emphasized that the group was discussing with both Boeing and Airbus.

A widespread competition is between the Airbus A320neo and A321neo medium-range jets and Boeing’s competing 737MAX family. This happens as Europe’s predominantly debt-bearing airlines regain demand for their ability to reduce costs and respond to increasing environmental pressures.

Beyond that, the group’s fleet overhaul will see separate contests to replace the previous A320 / A321 and A330 long-range models around 2023: both on the Air France network.

When Airbus launches, Air France will be interested in the frequently-motivated long version of the A220 for future competition to replace its flagship product, the A320, Smith said.

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer told Reuters that aircraft manufacturers are “positively” studying ideas, but the decision is not currently on the agenda.

According to industry sources, the immediate priority is to reduce the cost of the deficit A220 by pressured suppliers to offer greater price cuts and redesigning parts to make them cheaper to manufacture. is.

Tim Heffer