KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL, Amsterdam Schiphol) plans to simplify its widebody fleet by retiring all B747s by the end of 2020 and all A330s by 2025, Chief Executive Pieter Elbers said during the Air France-KLM's investor day presentation.

The Dutch flag carrier currently operates three B747-400s and seven B747-400(M)s. In June 2019, Elbers told ch-aviation that the retirement plan was not yet finalised. At that time, KLM expected to phase out all the Boeing quadjets by 2021 at the latest. The investor presentation indicates that they now will be retired by the end of 2020.

KLM is replacing the B747s with B787-10s.

The airline did not provide any additional colour on its fleet plans beyond 2020 other than that all A330s will be retired by 2025. In this year, KLM intends to operate exclusively B777-200(ER)s, B777-300(ER)s, B787-9s, and -10s. The airline treats the B777s and B787s as a single family due to the fact that it operates them with a common type rating for all pilots.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the carrier's A330 fleet currently entails eight A330-200s (12.9 years old on average) and five A330-300s (7 years old). The carrier's widebody fleet also includes fifteen B777-200(ER)s, fourteen B777-300(ER)s, thirteen B787-9s, and two -10s.

Fellow group member Air France (AF, Paris CDG) also plans to reduce the complexity of its widebody fleet by phasing-out all ten A380-800s by 2022 and four A340-300s by 2021.

Group Chief Executive Ben Smith pointed out that Air France has flexibility regarding its future use of the B787-9s.

"Right now, we are assuming they stay in the Air France fleet. [But] we can look at moving those aircraft to KLM in future," Smith said.

The group recently rejigged its widebody orders with all twenty-eight A350-900s now due to join Air France's fleet. Previously, the group intended to split the A350s between Air France and KLM. In turn, the Dutch carrier will take six B787-9s delivered from lessors and previously destined for Air France. The French carrier will add just one more B787-9 to the nine it already operates.

Smith said that the relatively limited fleet of ten B787-9s would give Air France flexibility in the future. The aircraft can also be used as "leverage" when negotiating future widebody orders, he added.

Air France does not reveal the planned retirement date of its A330-200s. It operates fifteen such aircraft. Besides the A340s, B787-9s, A330-200s, and A380s, the carrier's widebody passenger fleet also includes one A350-900, twenty-five B777-200(ER)s, and forty-three B777-300(ER)s.

In the future, Air France will explore options to operate a common type rating for B777s and B787s. It currently operates the two families with separate pools of pilots.