Air France-KLM needs to replace their NB fleet. Air France will go for the Airbus in my opinion, and I think KLM will also use the A320neo. Why? Because the 737 design is 50 years old, and I don’t think another 30 years of 737 investment is a great idea.
Given the fact that the 737 MAX gained around 4500 orders, that feeling of yours does not seem to be shared by important part(ies) of the industry.
The “simplify fleet strategy” thing seemed really interesting, because this could mean Air France-KLM will only order Airbus NBs.
Given the fact that KL and HV would be operating between 100 and 150 frames, that should be good enough to warrant another subset.
In any case, AF and KL have bigger fishes to catch when it comes to fleet simplification.
It’s easier to get lower prices at Airbus.
I'm sure Boeing would be eager to offer very competitive pricing at the moment. I don't see any evidence that Airbus could/would be willing to lower their prices any further than Boeing would/could be willing to do.
Au contraire, actually. Since the 320 series is sold out for the better part of the decade, I expect that Airbus could be making much healthier margins by selling the rare available slots as A321(X)LR for good margins (due to no competing product from Boeing), than "vanilla" 320s to KLM.
Just can't see how the B737 will be on the plate:
1. AFKLM still have ~18% own by French state
That hasn't stopped them from being one of the largest 77W operators, and purchasing dozens of 787s.
2. Partnership from Airbus+Cseries can fulfill all the need in 1 stop and easier to negotiate better price
3. Embraer + Boeing probably won't have agreement on JV until next year due to election
I don’t see why this should affect any 737 orders. Perhaps, if so, it could affect EMB orders, but those are already in the bag . . .
baggage loaders at EHAM are unhappy with their work, so using the A320neo is better because it supports containers.
I'm not sure if baggage loaders are going to like it, when a good part of them will no longer be needed by the company . . . .
Back in the 80s, KLM was very loyal to Douglas. KLM didn’t choose the MD-80, they chose the 737 because it had proven itself. KLM rejected the A320, it was offered to them, but KLM rejected it because they didn’t know the A320 would be a success.
I would think an airline would not order a frame on the expectations whether it will be a success (although that may be part of a launch customer's evaluation), but on what it can do to your business.
If you look at IB, LH, BA, EI, easyJet (I don’t know their IATA code), SK, they all ordered 737s or MD-80s in the 80s. At their next fleet renewal they went Airbus.
And BA seems to be going the other way . . .
I see a real advantage if KLM goes Airbus because the Airbus is more modern, it’s more comfortable, it’s easier to fly, it’s more efficient, and there are more reasons.
Given KLM's 10-abreast 777 and 9 abreast 787, it seems passenger comfort isn't top of KLM airliner purchasing requirements.
Why buy Boeing and Airbus if it’s easier and better to buy Airbus?
Perhaps because the real world is a bit more complicated than that . . . ?
Just to be sure, I'm not saying that KLM will go for the MAX. I honestly don't know. But my observations are that most of your arguments are not particularly strong, and mostly based on feelings. Which is OK (for you), but they do not make a strong case convincing me it’s almost a done deal.
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