On a side note, but very interesting, according to Dutch news paper "De Gelderlander" KLM will decide which plane to take before the summer.
It is only in Dutch so I will translate the article:
Battle Boeing and Airbus for mega-order KLM.
AMSTELVEEN/TOULOUSE Planemanufacturers Boeing and Airbus are involved in a fierce battle for a billion dollar order from KLM. The airline wants to order between 12 and 34 planes with a catalogue price of roughly 150 million each. Airbus very keen to get a foothhold at KLM, which is very Boeing orientated.
Despite the downturn in aviation after the september 11 attacks, KLM wants to decide which plane to take within monhs. Currently the airline is making a loss, but sees the market getting better. The current aviation crisis seems like a good moment to order planes.
The manufacturers have made some very attractive orders to sell planes that have been cancelled. Boeing had to reduce its productioncapacity a lot, and had to fire thousands of employees. Rival Airbus put expansion plans on a hold for the same reason. A large order from KLM is therefore more than welcome.
However, the purchase price is not the most important factor, says KLM spokesperson B. Koster. The new planes will be graded with several aspects. Included in these aspects are passenger satisfaction, flexibilty, environmentally friendliness and (obviously) economics.
The airline wants to make a decission before the beginning of the summer. "That decission can range from ordering nothing, to ordering up to 34 planes", according to Koster. In the last case situation the order would be valued at roughly 5 billion dollar. It has not yet been decided whether KLM will buy the planes outright. Leasing companies have also been approached.