Air France took its maiden Boeing 787 four years ago. On lease from AerCap, the Dreamliner was quite special as it was the 500th Dreamliner to roll off Boeing’s production lines. Since then, however, Air France has moved away from its fleet of Dreamliners in favor of Airbus aircraft. Here’s a look at Air France’s Boeing 787s.
Air France takes maiden 787
On December 2nd, 2016, Air France took its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. A 787-9, the aircraft was on lease from AerCap and marked the 50th Dreamliner for AerCap delivered to a customer, in addition to being the 500th 787 built.
Then-CEO of Air France-KLM Jean-Marc Janaillac stated the following in a press release viewed by Simple Flying from the time:
“It is with great pride and honor that Air France is taking delivery of its first Boeing 787, the 9th for Air France-KLM. Air France’s first e-enabled aircraft, the Dreamliner, marks a new stage in the modernization of our fleet. It will offer customers the best of Air France’s products and services.”
At around 09:00 local time in Paris, the first Boeing 787 for Air France touched down at Paris-Charles de Gaulle. After receiving the aircraft, the airline planned “discovery” inaugural flights. Four flights operated to Corsica and the Mediterranean, Southwest – Gascony, Brittany, and a Tour of France. The first 787-9 revenue commercial flight operated on January 9th, 2017.
The first Boeing 787-9 Air France received is registered as F-HRBA. The aircraft offerd far better economics and is much more environmentally friendly than previous generation aircraft. As new aircraft like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 trickled into Air France’s fleet, older jets like the Airbus A340 and Boeing 747s made their way out.
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Air France’s Boeing 787-9
The Boeing 787-9s at Air France seat 279 passengers. This includes 30 in business class, 21 in premium economy, and 228 in economy. WiFi is available onboard the 787s, along with in-seat entertainment at every seat.
The 787-9 primarily operate long-haul routes for Air France. They can be found flying today out of Air France’s hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to cities like Atlanta, Boston, Rio de Janeiro, Osaka, Bogota, and more.
An order swap with KLM
In June 2019, Air France and KLM carried out an order swap. All of Air France’s outstanding Boeing 787 Dreamliner orders went to KLM, while all of KLM’s Airbus A350s would come to Air France.
While the Boeing 787s are excellent aircraft, they added additional complexity to Air France’s fleet. So, the carrier opted only to take 10 of the 787-9s and let KLM take the rest of its 787s. The final Boeing 787 for Air France only arrived in July of this year. The final 787 is registered as F-HRBJ.
Air France, however, still does operate Boeing aircraft. It has a small fleet of 777F for cargo-only operations and an extensive fleet of passenger Boeing 777s made up of both -200ERs and the larger -300ER.
Have you flown on Air France’s Boeing 787-9s? Do you wish Air France took on more 787s? Let us know in the comments!