(Bloomberg) -- Air France-KLM has begun a formal process to replace some of its aging widebody aircraft, seeking to pick up more fuel-efficient jets from Airbus SE or Boeing Co. that can serve surging long-haul travel demand.
The airline group is shopping for 30 to 50 widebody jets, according to people familiar with the matter. Bloomberg News reported in June that the company was considering replacements for its Airbus A330 jets that average 20 years, alongside a batch of two-decade old Boeing 777s.
Airlines across the world are snapping up widebody jets as long-haul travel rebounds and stretches out waiting lists for newer, more fuel-efficient jets. The carrier has already retired its fleet of Boeing 747s and A380s and has added more modern 787 Dreamliners and Airbus’s A350 aircraft.
Officials at Airbus and Air France-KLM declined to comment, while a Boeing spokesperson couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Earlier this month Air France-KLM and Airbus announced plans for a proposed maintenance joint venture for the Airbus A350 aircraft, potentially giving Airbus some leverage in its talks with the Franco-Dutch airline.
Part of the evaluation process includes the new reality of having to circumnavigate Russian airspace following the invasion of Ukraine. That detour can add several hours to a flight and changes the requirements for the aircraft, Air France KLM Chief Executive Officer Ben Smith said the interview in June.
--With assistance from Julie Johnsson.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.