KLM plans to renew its older generation long-haul fleet with Airbus A350 family aircraft in the coming years. The Airbus A350 is acknowledged as the most fuel-efficient and silent aircraft of its generation.
Wide-bodied in design, the new aircraft has substantial benefits in terms of reducing CO2 emissions and noise impact. Procurement is subject to the recommendations of the KLM Works Council.
Making the announcement, Air-France KLM Air France KLM General Manager for East and Southern Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana Marius van der Ham said, “Today marks a very special day for KLM. We have taken a big step towards our future with the proposed decision of purchasing a new aircraft. We can make our fleet significantly cleaner, quieter and more fuel-efficient with the A350s. This is important because we are all faced with the major task of becoming more sustainable. Furthermore, it gives us an opportunity to offer our passengers much more service and comfort on intercontinental destinations”.
The Air France KLM Group has signed an agreement with Airbus for a total of 50 Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000 aircraft, with an option for 40 further aircraft.
The 50 aircraft have been ordered and will be allocated between KLM and Air France according to local market dynamics and regulatory conditions.
KLM expects to begin deploying the Airbus A350 on intercontinental flights from 2026, replacing its Boeing 777-200ERs, Airbus A330-200s and Airbus A330-300s.
The new Airbus A350 constitutes a major step in building a cleaner and quieter fleet, producing 40 per cent less noise and burning 25 per cent less fuel than similar aircraft of the older generation.
The hull of the aircraft largely consists of reinforced, lightweight materials (composites and titanium), ensuring that longer distances can be covered with less fuel. In combination with the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and other operational innovations and efficiency gains, these new aircraft will significantly contribute to making operations cleaner, quieter and more fuel-efficient.
Besides, it is expected to enhance customer experience, boost comfort and improve efficiency.