Air France is probably the only A380 operator yet to update its A380 cabin interiors.
The A380 remains a favourite with Air France passengers although by now they must have noticed that the first and business class cabins are showing their age.
You won’t find first class “suites” on Air France’s A380 fleet and neither will you find flat bed accommodation with direct aisle access in business class.
Business class is especially dated. Air France’s A380s are configured six across (2-2-2) and the seats themselves are angled lie-flat.
Yet the new global business standard (fully flat and direct aisle-access) can already be found Air France’s fleet of B777s, B787s and to some A330s.
But now I have some good news. LesEchos.fr reports that the country’s national airline will retrofit its A380s by 2020.
Jean-Marc Janaillac, CEO of Air France/KLM confirmed to LesEchos that the retrofitting “is planned for 2020. That is an issue we are starting to work on.” He indicates that the seat design and configuration have not been decided.
But the original plan to move first class to the upper deck (it’s currently downstairs) may not materialise.
Why? Jean-Marc Janaillac says that today’s generation of first class seats are just too heavy (for the upper deck) and that means the cabin floor will have to be strengthened.
In fact the A380 renovation is already behind schedule. The first A380s were delivered to Air France in 2009 and 2010.
In 2014 Air France’s then CEO Alexandre de Juniac announced that the superjumbos would be retrofitted by this year (2017).
But that never happened because of the need for Air France to make economies. It’s reckoned that the cost of the 2020 refurbishment will cost €200 million for the entire fleet of ten A380s.
Meanwhile Air France’s A380 continue to ply its most popular routes.