The A380 is Air France’s flagship. The carrier’s superjumbo plies some of its busiest and most prestigious routes.
But Air France’s A380 cabin interiors remain unchanged from when these aircraft entered service some years ago.
So it’s disappointing to learn that Air France has, yet again, postponed any updating.
According to a report in France’s La Tribune the original plan was for Air France to have completed refurbishment of the first A380 fleet next year.
That programme was then postponed until 2018 but the latest news, is that it has been put back until 2019.
The carrier stated the new products have already or will be fitted to its A330s, B777s. Air France’s new B787s, the first of which arrives in January 2017, will of course have them installed. And so too will the A350 when it arrives.
But, and it’s a big “but,” buried at the very end of the media release comes the news that “the company is studying the refurbishment of its Airbus A380 with possible [note: possible] deployment starting in 2019.”
Air France simply needs to update its ten-strong A380 fleet.
One reason is that business class (located on the upper deck) is still disposed with the old-fashioned angled lie-flat seating configured six across 2-2-2.
By comparison most, if not all, rival A380 operators now feature flat-bed seating in business class.
Indeed three of Air France’s rivals, namely Emirates, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines (SIA), provide both flat beds and a roomier four across (1-2-1) layout.
It would appear Air France is devoting its energies to updating its other long-haul aircraft at the expense of its A380 flagships.