Amsterdam - KLM may exclude the Airbus A350 from its fleet plan. The aircraft would join the Dutch fleet in 2021, but it is likely that KLM will rely on the Boeing 787 for its future fleet structure.
According to the original plan, KLM would receive a total of seven Airbus A350 aircraft from 2021 onwards. However, there have been some speculations about the inclusion of the Airbus A350 in the Dutch carrier's fleet for some time. KLM had changed the delivery schedule of its Airbus A350-900s by delaying the take over of the first example to 2021 from 2020 in August this year.
Although CEO Pieter Elbers declared that there were no changes to the fleet plan, pilots and technicians internally have been informed that the acquisition of the aircraft has been canceled, Dutch aviation magazine "Luchtwaart Nieuws" reports.
Air France-KLM placed an order for 25 Airbus A350 in 2013, with an option for another 25 copies. The first aircraft will be handed over to Air France subsidiary Joon in 2019, which will replace an old Airbus A340. Joon will receive nine more Airbus A350-900 over time.
The intention was to divide the remaining 15 aircraft between Air France (8 copies) and KLM (7 copies), but it is now highly uncertain.
Both Air France and KLM have been working on fleet renewals for a while. Air France intends to replace its aging A340-300s, while the KLM phases out its Boeing 747-400s for the same reason. Both airlines operate Airbus A330, Boeing 777 and the Boeing 787-9 on their long-haul routes.
Unlike Air France, Dutch carrier has placed an order for eight Boeing 787-10. KLM will receive the first 787-10 on June 29, 2019.
The passenger capacity of the 787-10 is close to that of the Airbus A350-900.