* Order worth $7.2 bln at list prices
* Airline also takes 25 options
* Rolls-Royce to supply engines in $1.1 bln deal
PARIS, June 19 Airbus sealed a
long-awaited order for 25 A350-900 aircraft from Air France-KLM
worth $7.2 billion at list prices after Rolls-Royce
and the airline reached a deal over engine maintenance.
The airline also took a further 25 options on the planes,
the companies said at the Paris Airshow on Wednesday.
Industry sources had told Reuters on Tuesday the carrier was
about to announce the deal after talks narrowly avoided
Air France-KLM has been at loggerheads with suppliers over
issues mainly including maintenance of the plane's Rolls-Royce
engines ever since the deal was first mooted in 2011. Air France
and Rolls had clashed over conflicting ideas for engine supply
The airline said on Wednesday, however, that it had signed a
memorandum of understanding with Rolls-Royce to equip the
A350s with Trent XWB engines, including their maintenance by Air
France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance.
Rolls said the deal to power the 25 A350s was worth $1.1
billion at list prices.
Air France traditionally orders engines from Rolls' U.S.
rival General Electric, but the A350 is powered
exclusively by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
Air France-KLM is seeking to lower costs by cutting jobs and
restructuring its network as it aims to return to profit and cut
debt by 2 billion euros by the end of next year. It faces
soaring fuel costs, a worsening cargo business and tough
competition from Gulf and low-cost carriers.
"This shows that despite some difficulties Air France-KLM is
facing, we are in sufficiently good shape to be able to plan the
renewal of our long-haul fleet," said Alexandre de Juniac, who
is due to become Air France-KLM chief executive from July 1.
Air France-KLM currently operates a fleet of just over 190
By the end of May, the A350 XWB had won 613 firm orders from
33 customers worldwide.