Air France upgrades fleet

Air France has ordered 60 Airbus A220s and plans to retire its A380 superjumbos to modernise its fleet. The A380 is currently used on the Johannesburg-Paris route.

“We will operate the A380 on this service for the coming European winter and for the European summer we will again have the Boeing 777-300,” says Wouter Vermeulen, gm of Air France KLM Southern Africa.

“Usually our schedules are published a year ahead, but that can be subject to change. At the moment, what is for sure is that the A380 will be retired from our fleet by 2022.”

The order is worth US$5,5bn (R79bn), and the first aircraft will be delivered in September 2021. The airline is seeking to improve efficiency on its short- and medium-haul routes.

“The acquisition of these brand-new A220s aligns perfectly with Air France KLM’s overall fleet modernisation and harmonisation strategy,” said Benjamin Smith, ceo of Air France KLM.

The ten A380s in the airline’s fleet will be phased out by 2022.

The new aircraft generates 20% less CO2 emissions than comparable aircraft in its class, and is twice as quiet.