Air France confirmed it is considering acquiring the A320neo and is in talks with Airbus and engine manufacturers to study potential benefits the aircraft can offer (Reuters, 14-Apr-2011). An Air France spokesman stated the carrier is “particularly attentive to new medium-haul projects offered by manufacturers, the most important of which is the A320 equipped with new engines".
Air France considers A320neo
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AirAsia Group fleet analysis: expansion to resume in 2017 with 32 deliveries including 15 new leases
The AirAsia Group is accelerating expansion in 2017 after deciding to lease 15 additional A320ceos which were not previously in its fleet plan. AirAsia now plans to take delivery of 32 A320s in 2017 (11 A320neos and 21 A320ceos) while returning three aircraft, for a net gain of 29 aircraft, marking its biggest expansion since 2013.
The AirAsia Group took delivery of only 10 aircraft in 2016 and originally was planning to take delivery of just 10 aircraft again in 2017. It initially slowed its fleet growth in 2015, with four deliveries, after several years of rapid double digit fleet expansion.
The AirAsia Group’s active fleet grew by only two aircraft in 2016 and shrank by two aircraft in 2015, when aircraft sales, leases outside the group and lease returns are taken into account. Fleet growth peaked in 2013 with 36 aircraft, before initially slowing to 18 aircraft in 2014 as market conditions became more challenging.
Air France-KLM: long haul low cost airline could be part of new CEO's vision as French Blue enters
Air France-KLM chairman and CEO, Jean-Marc Janaillac, who took charge in Jul-2016, has talked about the possibility of launching long haul low cost operations (Bloomberg/luchtvaartnieuws.nl, 20-Sep-2016).
If Air France-KLM were to enter this segment it would be the second of Europe's big three legacy airline groups to do so, after the Lufthansa Group. Ironically, there is no long haul low cost competition to Lufthansa in Germany. By contrast, IAG faces more such competitors in the UK than either of its two major rival groups in their largest home market, but currently has no plan for such an operator.
Air France-KLM management told analysts on a conference call in May-2016 that it was sceptical about the sustainability of year-round profits for long haul low cost. However, new competition has prompted Mr Janaillac to look more closely at this market segment. Since Jul-2016 Norwegian has commenced trans-Atlantic long haul operations from Paris CDG. In addition, since Sep-2016, the new-start long haul LCC French Blue now flies on routes to the Caribbean. Mr Janaillac is expected to report on his strategic vision for Air France-KLM in early Nov-2016. Labour relations will be crucial to the group's development – not least in the area of long haul low cost.