Air France, Airbus In Talks On A350 Component Support Joint Venture

Air France A350-900

An Airbus A350-900. 

Credit: Airbus/Master Films/Jean-Baptiste Accariez

Air France and Airbus have entered into exclusive negotiations over a 50-50 Airbus A350 component maintenance services joint venture (JV) aimed at better meeting the growing long-term maintenance needs of the A350 as the worldwide fleet increases.  

The agreement is set to cover supply chain management, repairs and the creation of a worldwide pool of aircraft components. The agreement would bring together the expertise of Air France Industries KLM Engineering and Maintenance and Airbus, the two parties said.  

The Aviation Week Network Fleet Discovery database shows Air France has 21 A350-900s in its fleet. It also has 20 A350-900s and four of the new A350F cargo variant on order, plus options for a further 12 A350-900s.

Both partners would transfer aircraft components assets into a joint pool under the deal, which the parties hope to have operational by the first half of 2024, subject to approval from authorities. 

Airbus and Air France noted that there are more than 1,000 A350 aircraft on order and 550 currently in service worldwide.  

“This project aims to bring customers the best expertise of our two companies on a product as high-tech as the A350,” said Anne Brachet, EVP Air France-KLM Engineering and Maintenance. “We will be able to better respond to the needs of the market, and to guarantee the satisfaction of our customers over the long term, with support solutions that are always responsive, of high quality and at the right price.” 

“As the world’s A350 fleet grows, so does the necessary support,” said Cristina Aguilar, SVP customer services at Airbus. “Air France-KLM Engineering and Maintenance and Airbus have a long-standing relationship and pooling our complementary A350 component skills and capabilities will deliver an enhanced service.”

Helen Massy-Beresford

Based in Paris, Helen Massy-Beresford covers European and Middle Eastern airlines, the European Commission’s air transport policy and the air cargo industry for Aviation Week & Space Technology and Aviation Daily.