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KLM selects Boeing and Airbus in fleet renewal program

KLM<.> Royal Dutch Airlines announced that the company intends replacing the Boeing 747-300, MD-11 and…

KLM<.> Royal Dutch Airlines announced that the company intends replacing the Boeing 747-300, MD-11 and Boeing 767 aircraft types currently operated in its intercontinental fleet with two new types, the Boeing 777-200 and the Airbus A330-200. KLM`s current 747-300F freighter aircraft will be replaced with Boeing 747-400 Freighters.

This replacement program will improve the cost efficiency and competitiveness of the KLM fleet as the new aircraft will have lower unit costs and superior operating characteristics within KLM`s network. The new aircraft are expected to reduce environmental impact, increase customer appreciation and enhance flexibility in the network. Furthermore, the aircraft are being purchased at a time when the market for aircraft purchase is very favorable.

The fleet replacement, about which KLM has been negotiating with the two airplane manufacturers, engine manufacturers and several lease companies since August 2001, is planned to take place in two phases.

During the first phase, KLM will replace the twelve Boeing 747-300 aircraft currently operated, with eight Boeing 777-200ER (Extended Range) aircraft and three Boeing 747-400ERF (Extended Range Freighter) freighters. The first Boeing 777-200ER aircraft will be delivered late 2003. The last Boeing 747-300 will be phased out before 2005. KLM is currently still negotiating with various parties on its choice of engines for the new aircraft.

For the second phase, KLM is negotiating the replacement of its ten MD-11s and twelve Boeing 767-300ERs with a combination of A330-200`s and additional Boeing 777-200ER airplanes.

On completion of the fleet replacement program, KLM will have reduced the number of aircraft types in its intercontinental fleet from four to three, comprising the Boeing 747-400 (in all-passenger, combi and freighter configurations); the Boeing 777-200ER; and the Airbus A330-200.

The KLM Board of Managing Directors will be making further announcements on the fleet renewal at the May 8, 2002, press conference presenting the company`s results for fiscal 2001/2002.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.