Airbus beats Boeing again with 100-jet Air France-KLM order
EUROPE’s big plane maker Airbus has again beaten America’s Boeing within 24 hours after Air France-KLM handed the European aviation giant an order worth more US$10 billion at list prices, reports Bloomberg.
The Franco-Dutch carrier agreed to buy 100 A320neo and A321neo single-aisle aircraft in a blow to Boeing’s rival 737 Max following its defeat in a contest at Australia’s Qantas Airways.
Airbus will displace older Boeing jets at both carriers. In a further boost, the Air France-KLM accord includes purchase rights for an additional 60 narrow-bodies and an outline deal for four A350 freighters plus four options, expanding the market for the new cargo plane after Singapore Airlines ordered seven this week.
Airbus sales chief Christian Scherer said the French decision showed the manufacturer’s strengths in areas like performance, reliability and fuel efficiency. Air France-KLM chief executive Ben Smith said jets from the A320 family are “the best choices for the long-term growth of our fleet”.
The aircraft will go to the short-haul arm of KLM, based at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, and low-cost division Transavia in the Netherlands and at Paris-Orly airport. Deliveries from what the group said is its biggest-ever order should begin in late 2023, according to a statement.
Qantas announced it will buy 40 Airbus jets for US$4.6 billion before discounts, with options to purchase an additional 94 aircraft over a decade.
The planes replace Qantas’s aging fleet of 100 Boeing 737s and 717s, some of which are 20 years old.