LONDON – Airbus is closing on Boeing to potentially secure a deal to supply Dutch airline KLM with single-aisle aircraft, who was predominantly incumbent of Boeing over decades, according to people acquainted with these new events.
The manufacturers are bidding to win the biggest order of 160 aircraft of narrow-body configurations by KLM and low-cost carrier Transavia, as the parent firm Air France – KLM have decided to refurbish their brand with upgrades of their medium-haul fleets.
According to the reports by Reuters, KLM was leaning towards the Airbus A321, although, the contest remains in flux with Boeing’s 737 MAX still in contention for the KLM and Transavia, said people close to this deal on the condition of anonymity.
But both, Airbus and Boeing are maintaining silence over this, and Air France-KLM has made the statement as “No deal has been reached yet”
Being a European manufacturer, Airbus has had comparatively lesser luck in Europe in turning predominantly Boeing users to Airbus, despite recent Boeing 737 MAX crashes and grounding on safety grounds for over two years.
If this deal works in favor of Airbus, it can be regarded as a milestone for the executives at Airbus Industries.
This deal would further enhance Airbus’s position with users to establish the case for added demand of narrow-body aircraft and further accelerate their programs on XLR with narrow body variants.
For A321, this deal would be favorable, as the largest jet in the A320neo family with a seating capacity of 230 passengers, added range, and fuel economy as compared to that of B737’s.
The A321 has recently proven Airbus its position in the UK, as the leisure carrier Jet2 Plc opted for A321, which was predominantly Boeing operator, and on another event, at the Dubai Air Show, the Indigo Partners group backed by Bill Franke signed an order for 255 A321’s to be distributed across its four discounted airlines.