Dutch low-cost airline Transavia and its French sister Transavia France, both 100% daughters of Air France/KLM, are poised to decide mid-year on fleet renewal plans. If KLM has made up its mind too, this could include a 100+ aircraft order to be announced at June’s Paris Air Show, Transavia CEO Mattijs ten Brink told Airinsight.
Discussing fleet renewal on the sidelines of Royal Schiphol Group’s new year’s reception, Ten Brink confirmed Transavia has been actively studying fleet plans for some time. While at first a quick decision seemed unlikely to be announced this year, Ten Brink now says his airline is ready to decide around mid-year and hinting at the air show in the city of lights. Deliveries should start in 2021.
Top-favorite for the deal is Boeing, which has been Transavia’s exclusive supplier since the late seventies (Transavia Holland only briefly operated an Airbus A300 in 1976 and an A310 in 1998). “Transavia France will order the MAX 8, while we will go for bigger aircraft”, says Ten Brink. This likely is the MAX 10, which has been on the airline’s options list since its launch at the Paris Air Show in June 2017.
The airline will buy some aircraft outright but could lease an unspecified number for flexibility. Ten Brink doesn’t rule out purchasing aircraft that lessors already have on order to get them on time.
Next month Transavia will take delivery of the last two 737-800’s it has on order, some of the last Next Generation types in production in Everett. Right now the fleet consists of 34 -800s and 7 -700s. The oldest 737-800s will be 20 years old this Spring. PH-HZD was registered in April 1999 and HZE a month later, while 19 aircraft are built before 2010.
Transavia France has a fleet of 33 737-800s, 6 built before 2010 but 5 delivered new only last year.
At the same function KLM’s CEO Pieter Elbers wasn’t willing to discuss the status of Air France/KLM’s fleet plans. “We are in the process of renewing our medium to long-haul fleet, but I am not going to say anything about our short/medium-haul fleet”. Renewal is more complicated, as the French and Dutch operate a mixed Boeing and Airbus fleet. This situation is expected to be continued in the future.
KLM has a fleet of 50 Boeing 737s, including 18 -700s, 27 -800s and 5 -900s. Of these, 31 were built before 2010. Air France short/medium-haul fleet consists of 106 Airbus A320-family aircraft, including 18 A318s, 36 A319s, 36 A320s and 16 A321s. Average age of the A319 is 17.7 years, with the A320s 9 years.
Transavia’s 737-800 PH-HZN was built in 2004. (Transavia)