Airbus expanded the customer base for its A350 XWB today with one order and a new commitment announced at the Paris Air Show, which will see this next-generation jetliner ultimately enter the fleets of three additional operators.
For the trio of carriers, the A350 XWB will be utilized to modernize long-haul operations, providing a modern and highly efficient aircraft that also retains commonality with other Airbus aircraft members currently in their inventories.
The Air France-KLM Group finalized a firm order for 25 A350-900s with options for 25 more A350 Family aircraft, leading to initial deliveries targeted in the beginning of 2017. Both of the group’s operating airlines – Air France and KLM – will deploy the aircraft in their respective liveries.
“The A350 XWB fits very well with our needs for the long-haul network,” said Alexandre de Juniac, who becomes the Air France-KLM Group’s Chairman and CEO in July. “When this aircraft enters service for us, we will have an up-to-date, fuel-saving, comfortable, modernized plane for our long-haul services.”
More than 190 Airbus aircraft are operated today by the Air France-KLM Group, consisting of the A380, A340, A330, A321, A320, A319 and A318 aircraft types.
SriLankan Airlines also is a current Airbus customer, flying A340s, A330s and A320s. Its commitment, detailed during a Paris Air Show press conference, is a Memorandum of Understanding for four A350-900s, along with six A330-300s.