Reports in the French press suggest that Air France-KLM will place orders for new Boeing and Airbus widebodies at a Board meeting today (27 July 2011). The orders are expected to be for 25 Boeing 787s and 25 Airbus A350s, with options for a similar number of both types. These orders have been the subject of much debate in France, with one suggestion, among several, being that the French flag carrier preferred the 787 to the A350, but would be splitting the order with Airbus at least partially down to political considerations. Although Air France-KLM is a major customer for both Boeing and Airbus aircraft, an Air France order for A350s would be its first selection of a new Rolls-Royce powered widebody aircraft and its first Rolls-Royce order of any kind since the Rolls-Royce/SNECMA powered Concorde. If nothing else, these considerations add to the anticipation to find out how the orders, when finally announced, divide the two new aircraft types between Air France and KLM. Air France was also seen as a likely to announce an order for the Airbus A320neo family during last month's Paris air show and an order sooner rather than later is still seen as likely. American Airlines' recent commitments to 260 A320neo family aircraft and the likelihood that other US majors, particularly Delta and United-Continental will also place large orders, and soon, mean that early neo delivery slots will start to become increasingly rare.
Wed, Jul 27 2011 11:55 AM
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