Fans of Air France and the A380 will be sad to learn that the airline will no longer operate this aircraft.
In a statement released this afternoon Air France says it will “phase out its entire A380 fleet” and these aircraft, currently in storage will not return to scheduled (Air France) service.
Two years ago we reported that Air France would slim its A380 fleet with some aircraft remaining in service for several more years.
But of course that was before Covid-19.
Now Air France says it wants to simplify its fleet to operate only modern A350s/B787s over long distance routes.
However another reason, not stated today by Air France, is the hefty refurbishment cost it would have incurred had it retained a few A380s.
This fact was also echoed by contributor Andreas Spaeth
October 2009 – delivery flight of first #A380 to @airfrance XFW-CDG. They were so proud to be first European operator. Sad to see this era is over after just a decade. AF totally missed out on keeping cabin product up to date #avgeek #PaxEx pic.twitter.com/CohVmM5onp
— Andreas Spaeth (@SpaethFlies) May 20, 2020
who noted that Air France missed out by not upgrading its A380s sooner.
Air France’s A380s entered service in 2009 and the cabin interior has not been updated since.
In other words the premium cabins have the same seating dating from 2009 rather than today’s suite accommodation in first- and the flat beds in business class.
It means Air France’s A380s, in the premium cabins, are no longer competitive on prime international routes.
And this evening as I write these words comes news from Germany that Lufthansa will in future halve its A380 fleet.
Moreover, of the seven A380s which will remain (assuming there are no further Covid-19 changes) it’s reported Lufthansa will only deploy the super jumbo at Munich.
This is somewhat of a development because Frankfurt was originally dedicated to be Lufthansa’s A380 base.