Air France to use A380 to Abidjan, Ivory Coast

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  sparkyflier 9 Apr 2014
at 13:00

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  • Anonymous


    I have read on other websites that Air France will start using A380 daily on their Abidjan route, starting in September.

    Business has been booming on this route in the past year or so, indeed in the previous years equipment went from 77W to 332, 343, 77W, currently daily 77W with an additional 2/3 x 340.
    Before the civil war, Ivory Coast I think was the 4th largest economy in Africa. About 2 years ago things went bad again, but things have seriously uplifted, with the economy growing 9.8 % and inflation around 1%.

    The A380 will replace both the 77W and A340-300.

    In recent years, it has been Accra, Ghana which has seen increased flights from USA, Europe & Middle East carriers.

    In another thread I suggested that BA should look again at Abidjan, maybe in conjunction with Monrovia.


    No it’s September 2014.


    I am amazed that the airport has the infrastructure for this aircraft – and its not as though there are likely to be any other A380s landing there – many airports with A380s have a few flights, and only a handful – Miami, Manchester, Houston, Rome and Zurich have a sole flight. These are all large airports and may well hope for more – Ivory Coast is not a leading destination however and were more airlines to stat flying there the AF A380 might start flying somewhere else?


    I wonder what infrastructure is especially “needed” for an A380? I ask as A380s have been using airports not “A380 ready” for a while.

    I recall telling a friend of mine a few years ago who worked at Zurich Airport a rumour (probably from this site!) that SQ were going to launch A380s there and he proclaimed that the facilities were not “ready”. Indeed they then did before they were.

    So apart from wider taxiways and stairs to get to the aircraft doors, lifts to cargo doors, what else is needed?

    I have heard about “reinforced” runways though, but I do not think this has happened everywhere.There are of course jetbridges for more developed airports, but Abidjan I do not think has these and probably does not really need them (except when it rains!)

    About Abidjan not likely to be having any more A380s, it is not too farfetched that Emirates could take them there. After all the DXB-Accra-Abidjan flight started with 332, then 340, and now 777-300ER, so a next step could be A380!


    I recall watching a programme about LH’s first 380 flight to LAX, and the months of planning and training that was required before the launch date…

    I would imagine to be 380 certified, an airport would have to prove ATC training had been done….
    The fire crews and other emergency services are trained on how to deal with an incident…
    The aprons are re-designed to accommodate for larger turning areas and local crews are trained on driving differently when the 380 is there….i.e.. Avoiding jet wash etc.

    I’m sure that big Russian thing is heavier than the 380 and it goes to many places when required…including Liege…..


    Hello sparkyflyer

    Here’s the BT news piece re SQ’s launch of the A380 into Zurich to which to refer.

    I remember at the time that Airbus itself flew one of its company A380s into Zurich to test out the runways, taxiways, boarding gates etc.

    As I explained in this news piece, all that Zurich really lacked was a third airbridge for the A380. That’s the airbridge which connects the boarding area directly with the A380’s upper deck.

    Zurich now has this third airbridge but I believe A380 operators like SQ who use Paris CDG’s Terminal One (ie not the main T2 as used by AF) make do with two airbridges. It’s really a quality issue.


    This is now coming to fruition I see on today’s BT news section, with a service 3 times per week, served on the other days by 777-300ER.

    The economy there is growing very fast indeed and enabling the country to develop following the years of civil war and disruption in the 90s and earlier part of this millenium.

    The event to which the article refers, the International Forum for Investors, was actually supported by more UK busineses than French.

    How long will it be that BA continues to ignore ths market and the demand for direct fights in and out of the UK?

    This could initially be served by 767s initially, perhaps as part of their Freetown, Monrovia or Accra network and re-organising these routes. The new Radisson Blu in Freetown might enable crew rest there., which do I not think could happen there until now.

    Other routes in West Africa which might provide demand for direct UK services (and onward connections) could be Dakar, Port Harcourt & Douala.

    These destinations will capture plenty of business traffic, cargo and offer high aircraft utilization as the nonstop flights are only 6 hours roughly. Triangle routes could also offer savings and efficiencies.


    747’s used to (and maybe still do) fly to Abidjan so if a 747 can get in a 380 should not be a problem. Upper deck pax can exit via the lower deck onto stairs. Not sure if they have airbridges. They didn’t when I used to fly there.


    Amazing they can fill an A380 on this route, and if so why other European airlines don’t fly there!


    They do fly there. In the Lufthansa Group Brussels Airlines fly there 6 times a week, using A330-300, and Turkish Airlines four times a week using 737-900.

    Being a former French colony you would expect France to have the most traffic, and indeed the news article yesteray did not mention that not only is there the daily flight from Paris using 777-300ER and soon some A380s, but there is an aditional 3 flights a week overnight out, using 777-200ER.

    I read a while ago that Cote d’Ivoire used to have the 4th biggest economy in Africa and indeed British Caledonian used to fly there regularly. BA tried it out think about 12 years ago as a tag to the Accra flight, but timing was not good as there were many troubles then which then escalated.

    Nowadays though the economy is rampant, with economic growth of 9.5% in 2012 and there is substantial business demand for direct UK flights.

    Many West African contries are booming, and indeed Accra now has daily 747 flights and three 767s, all nonstop.

    I am sure an initial offering of maybe 3 767s a week, perhaps initially in conjunction with Freetown or Monrovia, would be rewarding for both UK and Cote d’Ivoire, and BA shareholders.

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