KLM AND AIRBUS SIGN LETTER OF INTENT
FOR THE PURCHASE OF AIRBUS A330-200 AIRCRAFT
AMSTELVEEN, July 22, 2002 – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Airbus today announced they have signed a letter of intent for the purchase of six Airbus A330-200 aircraft, for delivery from early 2005. The airline has additionally acquired purchasing rights for a further eighteen aircraft of the same type. The two companies released the joint announcement today at the UK’s bi-annual Farnborough Air Show. KLM has assured a high degree of flexibility by combining a firm order with purchasing rights, enabling the carrier to respond adequately to market developments in the coming years.
With this order, KLM has taken a further step towards detailing its intercontinental fleet renewal program. Earlier this year, the airline announced it would be replacing its currently operated Boeing 747-300 fleet, and two MD-11 aircraft, with ten Boeing 777-200 Extended Range full-passenger airliners and three Boeing 747-400 Extended Range Freighters (ERF).
In the second phase of KLM’s fleet program, planned for 2005 through 2010, the airline will replace its remaining eight MD-11s and twelve Boeing 767-200ERs with a combination of A330-200s and additional Boeing 777-200ER equipment. Today’s announcement was the first step towards implementing this second phase.
“In daily operations, the Airbus A330-200 has proven to be an aircraft providing excellent operational and commercial performance, with high levels of efficiency and flexibility, generating a high degree of passenger appreciation,” said KLM Chief Operating Officer Peter Hartman. “This aircraft type will also contribute to achieving our goal of minimizing the impact of our operations on the environment in the vicinity of airports. I should also point out that the fact that our alliance partner Northwest Airlines has also ordered the A330 opens new perspectives for our alliance in the areas of operations, handling, maintenance, and product specification.”
“Airbus Industrie is very happy to welcome KLM back as customer,” said Airbus president Noël Forgeard. “KLM sets high quality standards for aircraft manufacturers’ products and services. We regard the enthusiasm for the A330 displayed by KLM and its partner Northwest Airlines as major indicators of the quality of this aircraft’s design and technology, and for its added operational and commercial value.”
KLM will operate the A330-200 on routes in the 250-seat market.
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