KLM has officially removed their order for seven Airbus A350-900s from their backlog, after they arranged an order reshuffle with Air France.
Although it’s been known for quite some time that KLM would not take any A350s, Airbus’ August results finally show the adjustment on paper.
The change does not reflect as an order loss for Airbus, rather a change of customer. As a corporate partner with KLM, Air France will take these aircraft.
As a result of this change Air France’s order for the A350 now stands at 28 aircraft, with the first due for delivery this month.
Further simplifying their fleet planning Air France will transfer an order for six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners to KLM, who already operate nine 787-9s and a single 787-10.
Air France will operate the Airbus A350 alongside their fleet of A330s under a common type rating, allowing for a single pilot pool.
The order swap makes complete sense in this regard as Air France will be replacing their ageing Boeing 777 fleet with the A350.
KLM operates a fleet of rather new 777-300ERs, which can be flown alongside the 787 Dreamliner under a single pilot pool too.
This further emphasizes Air France-KLM Group’s efforts to simplify fleet planning and operations, reducing costs down the line.
For aviation enthusiasts this announcement comes as a disappointment, however it doesn’t mean KLM will never take the A350.
As more aircraft need replacement in the coming years new aircraft will be assessed, such as the A350 and maybe the 777X.
How do you feel about this decision?