French national carrier Air France said it is still in negotiations with Rolls Royce over the terms of a maintenance contract for the engines on the 25 A350 XWB airliners that it plans to buy.
Air France, signed a memorandum of understanding for the airplanes worth more than EUR7 billion at list price two years ago.
But the signature of the firm contract with Airbus has been held up pending the conclusion of the negotiations with Rolls-Royce. Air France, which has a growing maintenance activity, wants approval from Rolls Royce to carry out overhaul and maintenance on the Rolls Royce XWB engines on its aircraft as well as those of customers of its Air France Services maintenance subsidiary.
Although an Air France spokesman said that "The contract will only be signed when the negotiations are concluded." It is seem that next week in Le Bourget the final agreement between 3 parties (Air France – Airbus – Rolls Royce) will be presented, with the signature of the firm order, after a week of negotiations in Paris.
For the time being, Air France-KLM´s priority –due to cash problems- is to delay as long as possible the payment of a deposit. Before committing, Air France has asked to Airbus more details regarding A350-1000, including free slots available. Air France could convert part of its A350-1000 options into A350-900s.
Based on the article “Air France-KLM finaliserait sa commande d’A350 au salon du Bourget” published in Les Echos.