KLM will receive its final two Boeing 777-300ERs this week, after delays due to the crisis. Registered PH-BVV and -BVW, these jets will increase KLM’s 777 fleet size to 31 aircraft and complete the long-standing order. Let’s find out more about these final classic 777s.
According to Luchtvaart Nieuws, KLM will take delivery of the new 777-300ERs this week. The first aircraft will arrive in Amsterdam on Thursday morning, while the second will reach it on Saturday morning. The aircraft are part of an order for two 777s first revealed in September 2019 as being for KLM.
The aircraft are registered PH-BVV, named ‘Cocos Island National Park,’ and PH-BVW, named ‘Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks.’ The planes carry on the tradition of naming 777-300s after world heritage sites and nature reserves around the world and following a (roughly) alphabetical delivery order.
PH-BVV – KLM 777-300(ER) "Cocos Island National Park" landed opposite flow at KPAE before a taxi test. pic.twitter.com/5aQ91BGgQb
— Chris Lee (@propandkerosene) March 16, 2021
The deliveries this week will increase KLM’s fleet of Boeing 777s to 31 aircraft. According to Planespotters.net, this includes 15 777-200ERs which are 16.2-years-old and quickly showing their age. With the two new planes, KLM will have 16 777-300ERs, which are much younger at an average age of 8.2 years.
The 777 and 787 will now form the backbone of the long-haul fleet as KLM retires its A330 fleet in the coming years. The 747 had already made an exit in early 2020, leaving the airline will roughly 20 fewer long-haul aircraft in the short-term.
However, as demand will likely remain low for the next year or so, KLM would rather rely on deliveries of the more efficient 787. The airline plans to take delivery of some 787-10s this year and two more in 2024 as a part of its deferral due to the pandemic.
Overall, the carrier is focusing on boosting the passenger experience and environmental standards in the coming years.
While the new 777s will come with the standard KLM cabin layout, these jets will be the first to be upgraded to include a new premium cabin in 2022. Currently, the aircraft features 334 seats in standard economy, 40 in economy comfort, and 34 in business class.
The business class cabin, in particular, has become fairly outdated, offering a 2-2-2 layout. While these are fine for pairs of travelers, the lack of direct aisle access for window seat passengers is a huge drawback. However, this cabin will also undergo a “metamorphosis” starting from 2022, along with the addition of premium economy.
Economy class on the KLM 777, both standard and comfort, is a standard affair. The seats are of the slimline variety, not offering too much padding. However, legroom is fairly generous in the comfort seats, offering some space on long-haul flights. The addition to premium economy will likely further boost the experience and bring KLM on par with its partners.
Have you ever flown with KLM on long-haul flights? Which aircraft do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!