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Air France-KLM orders new Airbus freighter, passenger aircraft

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A logo of Airbus is seen at the entrance of its factory in Blagnac near Toulouse

(Reuters) - Air France-KLM has placed a firm order with Airbus for four freighter and three passenger aircraft, the Franco-Dutch airline said on Friday, as part of efforts to renew its fleet.

Four Airbus A350F full freighter aircraft, which are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2026, will be operated by Martinair on behalf of KLM Cargo and based out of Schiphol airport in Amsterdam.

The A350Fs, will replace four Boeing 747Fs currently in use, the airline said, adding the order added to a previous deal for four planes of the same type placed in December 2021. They offer a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to Boeing's planes and are less noisy, the airline added.

"I am delighted to announce that KLM and Air France's cargo divisions will soon operate the quietest and most advanced full freighter aircraft available on the market," the group's CEO Benjamin Smith said in a statement.

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The three additional A350-900 passenger aircraft for Air France, to be based at Paris' main Charles de Gaulle airport, will replace previous generation models. The deliveries are expected in 2024.

"Since its entry into service at Air France, the A350-900 has proved to be a reliable and efficient aircraft, as well as a game changer in terms of reduction of CO2 and noise emissions," Smith added.

By 2030, Air France-KLM aims to reduce CO2 emissions per passenger/kilometre by 30% compared to 2019 levels.

(Reporting by Piotr Lipinski in Gdansk; Editing by Mark Potter)