Air France has signed a Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) for the purchase of two additional A380s and 18 A320 Family aircraft. The two A380s come in addition to the ten it already has on order, confirming the airline?s commitment for Airbus? all new very high capacity double deck airliner, as well as to Airbus? single aisle product range. With this additional order, the French carrier is pursuing its ambitious fleet modernisation and its network development programme, while eventually operating an all Airbus single-aisle fleet.
The first European carrier to operate the A380, Air France will fly the A380s from its Paris-Charles de Gaulle hub to Asian and North American destinations, starting in spring 2009. Air France will configure the A380s in a comfortable three class layout. The aircraft will be powered by Engine Alliance engines.
With 145 aircraft in service, Air France already operates one of the world?s largest Airbus single aisle fleets. The latest generation A320s and A321s ordered by Air France are equipped with updated cabins and low fuel burn, new generation CFM International CFM56 engines. The aircraft will be operated on domestic and European routes.
?The A380 is a remarkable aircraft, setting new standards in air travel, and giving us the extra passenger capacity we need for our extra long haul flights. Hence our wish to boost our Airbus A380 fleet further?, said Air France President Jean-Cyril Spinetta. ?With lower emissions and fuel burn per passenger, the A380 is also our response to environmental concerns. Equally our brand new A320 Family aircraft fleet will continue our long history of outstanding results with the A320 Family?, he added.
?We are honoured to receive this renewed vote of confidence for our state of the art aircraft from one of our most valued customers. Air France was the first carrier to fly Airbus aircraft and the first in the world to operate aircraft from the entire Single Aisle Family. Their commitment means a lot to us. We are convinced that our product range, which consistently leads in technological innovation for lower fuel burn, lower operating costs, environmental friendliness, and more comfort, is a major contributor to the success of Air France,? said Airbus President and CEO Louis Gallois.
The A380 carries more passengers further than any extra long haul aircraft at lower operating costs for less than three litres of fuel per passenger over 100 km,. It offers 50 per cent more floor space for 35 per cent more capacity, making the cabin roomier than ever.
Airbus also has the widest single aisle cabin in the sky. Latest innovations comprise a new cabin design giving more space, 15 per cent more useable overhead stowage volume and a measurable noise reduction in the cabin. Furthermore, the new cabin is lighter in weight, making the aircraft even more fuel efficient, a benefit in terms of operational costs and environmental progress. The latest A320 models also feature additional advanced aerodynamics helping reduce fuel burn even further.
Airbus is an EADS Company.