Speculation has grown for a while now that Air France-KLM was planning on divvying up a future widebody between Airbus and Boeing and CEO Pierre Henri Gourgeon basically made it official today, telling French politicians that the airline was going to rely on both planemakers for the upcoming order.
Bloomberg reports that despite pressure from some within Air France-KLM to choose Airbus due to the French ties that the company has, Air France-KLM’s widebody fleet of the future will consist of 787s and A350s.
Gourgeon declared his intention to divide the contract yesterday in a closed-door hearing at the French national assembly’s commission for sustainable development. Paris-based Air France-KLM confirmed the testimony today.
The CEO’s remarks, reiterating similar comments made in public, came after more than 180 of 577 French deputies signed a petition pressing him to favor Airbus, a Toulouse, France-based unit of European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. that’s 15 percent French owned with a largely French and German workforce.
An official decision on the order, including the breakdown between A350s and 787s won’t be made for a few months but the order is expected to be around 100 planes, a tremendous order considering that it will be entirely made up of widebody aircraft.