Air France-KLM prepares to make massive orders for short and medium-haul aircraft


Paris - The Franco-Dutch group is looking for new short- and medium-haul aircraft. Air France-KLM will soon invite all manufacturers to submit their offers.

Air France-KLM is preparing massive orders for short and medium-haul aircraft. Jean-Marc Janaillac, the CEO of the Group, has announced that Air France-KLM will soon launch a tender for the procurement of new short- and medium-haul aircraft. The background is the upcoming renewal of the fleet of Air France, Hop, KLM, and Transavia. The Group will invite European, American, Canadian and Brazilian manufacturers to submit offers, the manager said.

Even if the number of aircraft has not been defined, and even if only a part of the fleet will be affected by the renewal, the amount of the orders will be significant given the size of the aircraft fleet.

The entire fleet of these four companies in these categories of aircraft represents nearly 330 aircraft. 118 for Air France (all A320 family), 50 for KLM (all B737), 70 for Transavia Holland and France (B737) and 93 for HOP (Embraer, CRJ Bombardier, and ATR).

These orders will accompany the group's next strategic plan, whose main challenge will be to define a clear and effective positioning on this part of the network competed by low-cost. The plan will be announced in mid-June to begin to set in early 2019.

For a multitude of internal and external reasons, the choices will not be simple. On the medium-haul, Air France holds an all Airbus fleet while KLM and Transavia hold 100% Boeing fleets. It's not clear if Air France-KLM maintain this scheme or put more weight in negotiations to obtain better prices.

The subject is quite delicate that it seems difficult to imagine that Air France decides to stop the A320, not only for social reasons but also for political reasons.