Air France, part of the Air France-KLM group and SkyTeam member, continues to modernise its fleet. Just yesterday, November 25th, the French flag carrier took delivery of its latest Airbus A350. Let’s take a closer look at the news regarding this plane and the airline’s plans for the future.
Air France’s “Angers” Airbus A350
The 20th Airbus A350-900 to join the Air France fleet will be named after the French city of Angers. This is in continuity with the previous 19 planes received that also were named after other French cities. The previous 19 AF A350s were named after the cities of:
- Saint-Denis de la Réunion
This new A350 to dress the Air France colours will fly under registration number F-HTYT. And just performed its first flight, a ferry flight, from the Airbus production plant of Toulouse to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport. At CDG the airliner prepared for its first commercial flight to the capital of Peru, Lima.
Its first flight will be a long haul crossing of the Atlantic Ocean lasting 12 and a half hours to reach the South American city.
As the other A350s before it to join the Air France fleet F-HTYT also will have a 3 class layout, featuring:
- 34 Business Class seats
- 24 Premium Economy seats
- 266 Economy Class seats
This aircraft interior is another signal of how many airlines around the world are moving away from the first class product and investing more heavily in premium economy.
Out With the A380 in With the A350s
This 20th aircraft to join the Air France fleet means that the airline has now taken delivery of more than half of the ordered A350s. In total Air France has ordered 38 of the aircraft type and is yet to take delivery of 18 more. The timeline of deliveries should bring the missing 18 planes to join the French airline by 2025.
The A350 is the aircraft that will replace the Air France A380s. The French flag carrier has opted for the fuel efficient A350 that also allow for a greater operational flexibility as they can serve a larger number of airports.
Compared to equivalent sized older airliners these new generation A350s allow fuel savings of up to 25%. Also their composite material fuselage allows for a greater cabin pressurisation that translates to easier to breathe air while in flight, along with larger windows. Fuel consumption can go as low as 2.5 litres of fuel per passenger per 100km.
AF’s Fleet Modernisation and Simplification
Acquiring these 38 new Airbus A350s is part of a huge investment plan which will greatly change the airline’s fleet by 2030. By then 70% of Air France’s fleet will be comprised by new generations planes such as:
- Boeing 787s
The French flag carrier is investing a jaw dropping 1 billion Euros per year to bring forward this fleet modernisation plan.
Air France’s A350 Destinations
As for the destinations, Air France will be flying 20 routes with the A350 this winter season. The list features:
- Mexico City
- San José
- Sao Paulo
- Buenos Aires
- Santiago de Chile
- Tel Aviv