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Air France-KLM Group Funds TU Delft-France Initiative for Sustainability

Air France-KLM, with Air France and KLM jointly, have pledged €150,000 per year for a span of three years to fund the TU-Delft-France Initiative. The airlines announced the donation during the MRO Europe aircraft maintenance exhibition at the RAI Exhibition and Congress Centre in Amsterdam. The initiative, unveiled during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the Netherlands in April 2023, will support the development of innovative solutions for a more environmentally sustainable aviation industry.

Air France-KLM Group Funds TU Delft-France Initiative for Sustainability

The University Fund of the Delft University of Technology will manage the airlines’ donations. It will fund collaborative research projects between France and the Netherlands. The French Embassy in the Netherlands, the Dutch university, and Air France-KLM Engineering & Maintenance, François Alabrune, the Ambassador of France to the Netherlands, joined representatives from Air France-KLM to sign the agreement at the trade fair.

“We’re excited and honoured to be participating in the TU Delft-France Initiative, which focuses on aircraft engineering,” says Anne Brachet, Executive Vice President Air France-KLM Engineering & Maintenance. “With our commitment to this ambitious research and development program over the next three years, we’re preparing the future of aviation. This promising partnership that unifies the Air France-KLM Group, the French Embassy in the Netherlands and TU Delft is of key importance. It symbolizes our commitment to innovation and progress, which forms an integral part of our DNA. We’re looking forward to working with our French and Dutch partners to explore new technologies in the airline industry and contribute to the success of this initiative,”

”I am proud to see that the TU DELFT – FRANCE Initiative is giving us the opportunity to extend our longstanding relation with the TU Delft. Groupe ISAE and TU Delft are two leading aerospace institutes working together with Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance. This is an important step towards decarbonizing aviation”, says Ton Dortmans, Executive Vice President of KLM Engineering & Maintenance.

“I’m very pleased with the Air France-KLM Group’s contribution, which is important for our countries. The TU Delft-France Initiative is a unique cooperative model between academic institutions, research centers, and companies, focusing on coming up with innovative solutions directed at making the industry more sustainable. I encourage other players in the industry to follow this example,” says François Alabrune, France’s Ambassador to the Netherlands.

“International cooperation with leading players in the European airline industry is essential for the breakthrough technologies needed for climate-neutral aviation by 2050. The TU Delft France Initiative provides an opportunity to expand our cooperation with excellent universities and companies in France. We greatly appreciate this contribution from Air France-KLM and look forward to further cooperation with this important partner,” says Henri Werij, Dean of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of TU Delft.

How the TU Delft-France Initiative Works

The TU Delft-France Initiative is a collaborative effort between the Embassy of France in the Netherlands and TU Delft. It promotes research and development in key areas such as energy transition and digitalization. This partnership is important for the relationship between France and the Netherlands and the advancement of European technological sovereignty. The initiative supports ambitious research projects. It supports the exchange and mobility of students and researchers between TU Delft and leading French academic and research institutions.

The initiative’s first phase will run from 2023 to 2026 and focus on aircraft engineering. Specifically, it will focus on three areas of innovation: green fuel (hydrogen and Sustainable Aviation Fuel), materials, propulsion, and runway optimization. The French ISAE-SUPAERO and TU Delft have already launched a pilot project. It aims to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and joint work between the two institutes through co-funded joint theses. The TU Delft-France Initiative will call for regular project applications in sustainable aviation soon.


Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) is a leading Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) service provider. With a workforce of over 12,800 professionals, AFI KLM E&M offers a wide range of technical support for airlines. Their services include engineering, line maintenance, engine overhaul, aero structure support, fan thrust reverser assistance, and managing, repairing, and supplying aircraft components. With a robust logistics network, AFI KLM E&M serves nearly 3,000 aircraft operated by 200 major international and domestic airlines. Learn more about AFI KLM E&M at

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