It’s bittersweet news from Air France today as the airline has decided to retire its Airbus A380 fleet immediately with no return to service. However, the airline will be ramping up services across its network again next month.
We speculated earlier this week what the future might be for the A380 among the world’s airlines once we’re past the coronavirus.
In the official release from the airline, it stated: “In the context of the current COVID-19 crisis and its impact on anticipated activity levels, the Air France-KLM Group announces today the definitive end of Air France Airbus A380 operations.”
Air France was something of an unknown, with it already announcing a retirement of the type by 2022, and a couple of its examples having been withdrawn from use recently.
Here’s one arriving in Knock, Ireland, for scrapping in March:
Now it seems Air France does not see a future for such a large aircraft in its fleet, especially with modern and more fuel efficient Airbus A350 and Boeing 787-9 types on its long-haul services. More of these aircraft are currently on order, with deliveries ongoing.
Increase in Services
With that bad news over, at least we may see more Air France aircraft returning to the skies in June as the airline plans to ramp up the number of routes and daily flights in a hopeful attempt to recover from the coronavirus downturn.
Around 75 aircraft (out of a total of over 220) will be returned to service, and around 15 per cent of its former schedules will be operated by 30 June.
Flights will be flown out of Paris Charles de Gaulle and Lyon St Exupery airports to destinations in France, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, Asia and French overseas territories, albeit at a reduced schedule.