Air France has been busy with Airbus, as it converts its initial Letter of Intent into a Firm Order for four Airbus A350F freighter aircraft.
The firm order will be for four A350F freighters, with purchase rights for an additional 4 aircraft.
These aircraft will be operated by Air France and be based at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport. They will increase Air France’s cargo capacity, which currently consists of 2 Boeing 777F, supplementing the belly capacity of the airline’s 100+ wide-body passenger aircraft.
This order comes with full substitution rights to Airbus A350 passenger aircraft, which constitute the new flagship of Air France’s long-haul fleet. The airline currently operates 15 of the 38 aircraft of the type on order.
Air France-KLM will be among the launch operators of the A350F full freighter.
Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM said
“This order embodies Air France-KLM’s determination to strengthen its position on the buoyant cargo business”
“The Airbus A350 passenger version has been instrumental to the improvement of our economic and environmental performance, while proving to be a passenger’s favorite. We are thrilled to be among the launch customers of its freighter version, which will significantly increase our capacity and give us the means to continue to provide the best service to our customers around the world.”
In the launch bloc
Air France will be joining Singapore Airlines amongst others as launch operators of the Airbus A350F.
For the airline, there are some serious considerations, with the A350F offering 11% more volume while enabling a 15% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions compared to what the airline calls “previous generation aircraft”, as its network and aircraft usage evolves.
As the past few years have proved – having freighters ready to go is important for the airlift of time/mission-critical items.
As we move beyond the stage of life where passenger-freighters were conducting work (and those planes now going back into normal service), airlines and lessors are turning to future capacity, as the market has shifted a lot – and a lot of the older aircraft that we retired in a rush (and broken up) – new aircraft may be the way to turn for some applications.
For Air France KLM, it’s going to increase their cargo lift capacity – that’s for certain.
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, featuring in-depth coverage, unique research, as well as the humour and madness I only know how to deliver.
Also remember that we are part of the BoardingArea community, bringing you the latest frequent flyer news from around the world.