Air France plans to retire 5 Airbus A380-800 aircraft from its fleet.
The airline originally intended to unveil a new cabin design in 2017 or 2018, but the change of leadership caused the airline to drop these plans.
Its new CEO, Benjamin Smith, now wants to regorganize Air France’ operations along with its fleet. A modernisation of the A380s is scheduled for late-2020, French newspaper Les Echos reports.
While not officially confirming the news yet, the French flag-carrier indicates multiple factors as reasons for the consideration to drop half of its A380 fleet. Most notably that the aircraft is less efficient than the Boeing 777-300ER for the airline, as there are not enough destination with a high enough demand to fill an entire A380. Another reason is the high cost to refurbish such a big aircraft type.
The leasing contract for two A380s of Air France will already run out in 2019. According to Les Echos, the airline will not renew these contracts but instead retire even more ‘Superjumbos’.
When asked by International Flight Network, Air France stated: “Discussions and studies concerning the size of Air France’s A380 fleet are ongoing.”
Air France currently operates ten Airbus A380-800, with an average age of about eight years.
Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.