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Air France-KLM orders 100 aircraft from Airbus

By AFP - Dec 21,2021 - Last updated at Dec 21,2021

PARIS — Air France-KLM announced on Thursday a "massive" order of more than 100 Airbus aircraft. The firm order for 100 A320neo family aircraft for KLM and Transavia airlines is seen as a setback for Boeing, which had until now supplied these airlines with medium-range single-aisle aircraft.

Air France-KLM also took options on another 60 A320 family aircraft. 

It signed as well a letter of intent to purchase four freighter versions of the long-range A350 aircraft, and options to buy another four.

The order is easily worth over $10 billion at catalogue prices, but airlines making such large purchases are usually able to negotiate deep discounts.

AirFrance-KLM said the order was made to "improve its economic and environmental performance through the introduction of next generation aircraft".

The latest aircraft offered by Airbus and Boeing offer airlines considerable savings in fuel use, which also reduces their environmental impact.

Boeing has had difficulties, however, with its rival to the A320neo, the 737 MAX, having to ground the plane for over a year due to a flight control issue implicated in two crashes.

Air France-KLM also took options on another 60 A320 family aircraft. 

It signed as well a letter of intent to purchase four freighter versions of the long-range A350 aircraft, and options to buy another four.

"These evolutionary orders will position our Group airlines on the path to improved performance while accelerating our decarbonisation trajectory," Air France-KLM Chief Executive Benjamin Smith said in a statement.

Boeing said in a statement that it respected the decision by Air France-KLM 

"They are a valued Boeing customer, and we will continue to partner closely with their airlines to support their fleet and services requirements," the US planemaker said.

The announcement by Air France-KLM comes less than 24 hours after Australian flag carrier Qantas announced a deal to buy 40 Airbus aircraft.

The order was also a blow to Boeing, which currently supplies much of Qantas' domestic fleet.

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