KLM is embarking on a significant transformation by replacing its aging long-haul fleet with state-of-the-art Airbus A350 family aircraft over the next few years.
Renowned for its fuel efficiency and remarkably low noise levels, the Airbus A350 stands out as a game-changer in the world of aviation at a time when airlines are looking for more efficient airlines in the wake of rising cost of operations.
The design of these wide-bodied aircraft brings a host of advantages, particularly in terms of reducing both CO2 emissions and noise pollution.
However, the final decision to procure these aircraft will be contingent upon the recommendations put forth by the KLM Works Council.
Marius van der Ham, the General Manager for East and Southern Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana at Air France KLM, made the announcement, saying they taking a bold step towards a more fuel efficient fleet.
“Today marks a momentous occasion for KLM. With our proposed acquisition of the Airbus A350s, we are taking a giant stride towards a greener, quieter, and more fuel-efficient fleet. This move is pivotal as we are all collectively striving to enhance sustainability. Additionally, it affords us the opportunity to elevate the in-flight experience for our passengers on intercontinental routes,” he said.
Underlining their commitment to this endeavor, the Air France KLM Group has entered into a significant agreement with Airbus, encompassing a total order of 50 Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000 aircraft, with the option to acquire an additional 40 aircraft.
These aircraft will be allocated between KLM and Air France based on local market dynamics and regulatory requirements.
The transition to the Airbus A350 is expected to commence in 2026 for KLM, gradually replacing the Boeing 777-200ERs, Airbus A330-200s, and Airbus A330-300s in the intercontinental flight operations.
Notably, the new Airbus A350 produces 40 percent less noise and consumes 25 percent less fuel compared to older generation aircraft.
The aircraft’s construction incorporates a significant proportion of lightweight, reinforced materials such as composites and titanium, ensuring that longer distances can be covered with less fuel consumption.
When coupled with the utilisation of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and other innovative operational practices, these new aircraft will greatly contribute to a cleaner, quieter, and more fuel-efficient operation.
Furthermore, they are poised to enhance the overall customer experience, bolster comfort, and increase operational efficiency.