Air France has ordered 60 new generation Airbus A220s as part of an overhaul of its fleet.
The French flag carrier has also taken out options on a further 60 aircraft as it seeks to replace its A318 and A319 fleet.
The airline also confirmed that its fleet of ten A380 superjumbos will be retired by 2022 and it is studying what type of new aircraft will replace them.
“Keeping this aircraft in the fleet would involve significant costs, while the aircraft programme was suspended by Airbus earlier in 2019,” Air France said.
The first 149-seat A220 should be delivered in September 2021, joining Air France’s short- and medium-haul fleet.
The A220 was formerly the Bombardier C Series until Airbus bought a majority share in the project in 2017.
The aircraft will enable Air France to reduce its environmental footprint. The A220-300 generates 20% less CO2 emissions than comparable aircraft in its class, and is claimed to be twice as quiet.
“This aircraft will allow the company to increase its competitiveness by reducing its cost per seat by more than 10% compared to the aircraft it will replace,” the carrier said.
Air France-KLM Group CEO Benjamin Smith said:”These decisions support the Air France-KLM Group’s fleet competitiveness strategy.
“They follow the recent orders for A350s and Boeing 787s that Air France and KLM have placed.
“We are very pleased to work with Airbus to add the A220-300 to our fleet, an aircraft that demonstrates optimum environmental, operational, and economic efficiency.
“The selection of the Airbus A220-300 supports our goal of a more sustainable operation, by significantly reducing CO2 and noise emissions.
“This aircraft will also provide our customers with additional comfort on the short- and medium-haul network and will provide our pilots with a connected cockpit with access to the latest navigation technology.
“This is a very important next step in Air France’s transformation, and this evolution in Air France’s fleet underlines the group’s determination to attain European airline leadership.”
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