Kaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12176 posts, RR: 35 Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 2272 times:
Lots of questions, so let me take them one by one:
- I would be very surprised if KLM DIDN'T order 773s at some time in the future; at the moment, I think its 744 Combis do the job of the old -300s and given the imminent merger with AF, which is one of the launch 773ER customers, it must be a question of when, not if. KLM is, of course, a long standing GE operator and its current 772s, like AF's (and AZ's) are GE powered.
- Alitalia, which is expected to join this Franco Dutch wedding soon, is also probably likely to order 773ERs (although if I were a betting person, I'd put my money on KL first).
- As for BA, you'll probably have seen rumours about CX buying BA's -400s (well, 14-15 of them anyway), in exchange for which BA will order 773ERs. I think this is a runner and although BA is mostly an RR customer, don't forget that a good number of its 772s are GE powered.
I actually think the AF/KL fleets size up pretty well together; don't knock the 332 either. It will work well for KLM; it's a long legged aircraft - much moreso than the 763 and with excellent cargo capacity, could be doing some routes currently operated by the 74E - adding frequency too.
As for plans to keep the MD11 running until 2012, I really doubt it. I think, given a good offer for these aircraft from a cargo airline, they could be sold. But KLM shouldn't wait too long, because if a 772F is launched, the value of these aircraft could go downhill. If KL can get rid of its MD11s, they should; as fine an aircraft as it is, it sticks out like a sore thumb, commonality wise.