Paris-Air France took delivery of its first compact Airbus A220 jetliner on Tuesday, promising more comfort and less emissions on shorter routes as it moves forward with a wide fleet shake-up to consolidate its Franco-Dutch guard costs.
The 18-seater, Canadian-designed jet will reduce fuel consumption and emissions by 20 per cent once it enters European service with a flight to Berlin on October 1, French airline Franco-Dutch Air France-KLM Group said.
Air France ordered 60 planes in 2019, with at least 30 options, to replace the A318 and A319, the smallest members of the Airbus single-easel portfolio.
The unveiling illustrates that the emphasis is on the smallest of the world’s largest jets, as airlines enjoy the newer models of light at lower cost and environmental benefits.
Guests, including politicians, gathered in a hangar built for an Airbus A80 Superzumbo, which was once the head of Air France and other major long-haul carriers but whose leisure was hampered by the coronavirus crisis.
As a reminder of the 150 150 billion sight-seeing techniques in the jet industry, an unused A380 was overlooked on the outside tarmac.
The A220 was built by Bombardier of Canada, but its ambitions were established due to the lack of cash to sustain the throats of Airbus and US rival Boeing. Airbus chose the A220 program in 2018 for a symbolic dollar.
Now, the two Air France-KLM aircraft giants are playing against each other in the next phase of a multi-team fleet review under chief executive Ben Smith, a former Air Canada executive who has promised to ease a fragmented fleet to reduce unit costs.
He said the group would decide in a few months on new orders for at least 80 medium-range jets in the busy class above the A220, which would be its largest fleet transaction to date.
Following a tender earlier this year, KLM expanded its medium-range Boeing 37 fleet, as well as French and Dutch operations of budget brand Transavia.
Hang fleet renewal
Smith said the deal could include the purchase of more aircraft, with more than 0 to 40 options. Such a deal would be worth more than billion 1 trillion in inventory before it is released, which airline operators say could easily exceed 50 percent.
Some analysts have suggested that Boeing will lose the competition after a long association with KLM, but Smith insisted that the group is in talks with both Boeing and Airbus.
On the Airbus side, the A320neo and A321neo are the most widely seen competition between medium-range jet aircraft and Boeing’s 737 MAX family. It comes from Europe’s mainly debt-ridden airlines for its ability to reduce costs and cope with growing environmental pressures.
Beyond that, the group will see separate competition by 2023 to replace the A320 / A321 model and the A330 long-distance model before rebuilding the fleet: both on the Air France network.
Future Competition To replace the A320, Air France will be interested in the frequently discussed version of the A220, if Airbus launches one, Smith said.
Christian Sherer, Airbus’ chief commercial officer, told Reuters the aircraft manufacturer was studying the idea with a “positive attitude”, but there was no decision on the agenda at the moment.
According to industry sources, its immediate priority is to reduce the cost of the damaged A220, reduce the deep pressure on suppliers and redesign more inexpensive parts.
Written by Tim Heffer
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times