A few hours after Qantas announced its intention to close a major deal with Airbus, KLM revealed that it had chosen the A320neo family to renew its short-haul fleet as well as the low-cost subsidiary Transavia.
The Dutch carrier signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European planemaker for a firm order for 100 A320neo and A321neo jets (not yet detailing specific figures) in addition to 60 purchase options.
The first aircraft will be delivered from the second half of 2023 and will replace the Boeing 737-800 NG currently in service.
“This order for fleet renewal is an important new step for KLM in achieving our objectives in terms of sustainability, customer experience, comfort and efficiency. These new aircraft will allow us to reduce CO2 emissions and noise levels. by continually investing in our product, we can improve our efficiency and customer experience,” said KLM CEO Pieter Elbers.
KLM had already started the renewal of its fleet for more economical aircraft by closing a 35 Embraer E195-E2 lease to its subsidiary Cityhopper.
With the planes of the A320neo family, the airline will also reinforce the low-cost Transavia fleet that operates in the Netherlands and France.
Both in the case of Qantas and KLM/Transavia, the A320neo and A321neo will take the place of Boeing aircraft, until then quite traditional customers of the US manufacturer.
Despite having a respectable order backlog for the 737 MAX, Boeing has suffered many losses in bids, mainly on account of the A321neo, an aircraft whose performance is unmatched in the American company’s portfolio.