Air France-KLM approaches Airbus, Boeing for 160 new aircraft

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The Air France-KLM Group has issued a tender to both Airbus and Boeing for up to 160 new short and medium-haul aircraft.

The Group CEO Ben Smith told local publications that this would be the largest order in the Group’s history, and would be used to renew and extend the fleets of KLM and Transavia.

It seems airlines are getting back into the shopping mood, as attention turns from mitigating the crisis to preparing for a better future ahead. Following United’s blockbuster order for narrowbody aircraft replacements recently, now Air France-KLM is touting around for its future aircraft requirements.

Reporting in Reuters suggests that the Group is seeking as many as 160 aircraft for its short and medium hall needs, both for the KLM branch of the group and for the low-cost subsidiary Transavia. The Group has tendered to both Airbus and Boeing for options, with a view to ‘renewing and extending’ the fleets.

The order was revealed after CEO Ben Smith was quoted as saying that the Group had approached Airbus and Boeing for around 160 new jets.

Speaking in an interview to Het Financieele Dagblad, he said, “The aircraft on the table have not been revealed, but it’s likely that both manufacturers will come back with proposals including their latest generation narrowbody jets. The newest narrowbodies have proven their worth on ever longer routes, and are likely to be preferable to small widebodies both in terms of purchase price and operating costs.

A split order, or all eggs in one basket?
KLM is very much a Boeing airline. Despite placing an order for A350s in the past, in the end, these were transferred to Air France to operate. Similarly, Air France’s reaming Dreamliner orders have been shifted across to the Dutch airline. Its current narrowbody fleet is made up of Boeing 737s, all NG variants, with average fleet ages from just over 10 years for the -700s up to almost 20 years for the -900s.

The two Transavias, Transavia France and Transavia Airlines (Netherlands), are also Boeing narrowbody operators. Transavia France operates 50 737-800s, with an average fleet age of 8.9 years, according to

Transavia Netherlands has 39 narrowbodies, mostly 737-800s along with four smaller 737-700s. These are aged around 10.6 years for the -800s, although the -700s are much older, averaging 18.3 years across the fleet.

The natural order sway would go to Boeing, for the 737 MAX aircraft. These would be the logical successors for the NGs, having commonality with their predecessors in terms of tooling and pilot qualifications. There is, however, some additional training required following the aircraft’s lengthy grounding, but that’s unlikely to be a huge drawback

Morocco’s largest insurance company expands to Egypt

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Denver- Wafa Assurance, currently the leading insurance company in Morocco, announced it will soon expand into Egypt. Through new business operations, the company plans to extend its reach internationally.

Wafa was created as a subsidiary of Attijariwafa Bank and is headquartered in Casablanca. In its expansion announcement, Wafa appointed Abeer Helmy Saleh as the chief executive of Wafa Life Insurance Egypt.

Wafa’s CEO, Mohamed Ramses Arroub, stated Egypt was “on top of Wafa Assurance’s priorities,” and the company officially received approval by the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority to conduct business in the country in August 2020.

Wafa Life Insurance Egypt currently has a valuation of $9.5 million, but that number is expected to quickly grow. The African insurance industry is experiencing rapid growth, and current estimates put the value at approximately $68 billion. The North African market represents the second most valuable sector in the region, after South Africa.

The new expansion will offer tremendous potential growth opportunities for both the Moroccan and Egyptian divisions. Wafa Life Insurance Egypt will have the opportunity to utilize Wafa Assurance’s “successful digital transformation” to facilitate its new operations in Egypt

Conversely, Wafa Assurance expects to rely “on the skills of the Egyptian subsidiary” to expand into English speaking countries across the continent. Wafa currently operates ten companies in six countries throughout Africa, controlling 39 percent of the insurance sector. But reports indicate the group has set a goal of expanding into four additional countries and controlling 65% of the market within the next four years.

Wafa Assurance and its parent company Attijariwafa are both part of the National Holding Company (SNI), a large private investment firm mainly owned by King Mohammed VI and members of the royal family.