Air France-KLM in talks with Airbus, Boeing for 160 new jets
Air France-KLM has started talks with Airbus SE and Boeing Co. for 160 new single-aisle planes in what could be the biggest-ever order for the carrier seeking to expand its low-cost offering.
The airline group is negotiating a joint order for jets destined for Transavia in France, KLM and the Dutch Transavia fleet, Chief Executive Officer Ben Smith said in an interview published Monday in Dutch daily FD.
A spokesman confirmed the discussions for the aircraft to be used for medium-haul service. A representative of Airbus couldn’t be reached for immediate comment.
The contest would likely pit Boeing’s resurgent 737 Max against Airbus’s narrow-body A320 or A220 jets. Transavia’s fleet is currently made up of almost all 737-800 aircraft.
The order would come after Air France secured a 4 billion-euro ($4.75 billion) French rescue in April, following on from 10.4 billion euros in loans and guarantees granted last year by both state shareholders, France and the Netherlands.
The latest bailout to the French arm included a capital increase that saw France’s stake edge toward 30%. The Netherlands, where KLM is based, has been exploring reciprocal moves for some time.
The timing of further Dutch aid is up to the shareholder, Smith was quoted as saying.
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