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Air France says goodbye to the Airbus A380

The airline wanted to operate the XL aircraft for another three years. But because of the Corona crisis, Air France is withdrawing its Airbus A380 from service immediately.

Tis Meyer/

An Airbus A380 of Air France: Adieu!

«An innovative aircraft», is how Air France advertises the Airbus A380 to passengers. And the double-decker is indeed extremely popular with passengers. «Spacious», «quiet» and «comfortable» are the attributes that are always mentioned in conversations.

And if you can fill the Airbus A380, they are very profitable for airlines. Because the cost per seat is very attractive. But it is not easy to fill such a large aircraft with about 500 seats was not easy even before and after the corona crisis it is all the more difficult. Various airlines have therefore already thought about saying goodbye to their superjumbos forever.

Doubts about the A380 everywhere

Qatar Airways’ A380s would «not return for at least a year», said CEO Akbar Al Baker recently, or  «maybe never». Lufthansa has parked most of its superjumbos in Spain, British Airways in France, Qantas in Australia – all of them have a question mark over their future.

Air France is the first airline to close the book of A380 alltogether. «In the context of the current Covid 19 crisis and its impact on the expected level of demand», parent company Air France-KLM announced on Wednesday (May 20), «we announce today the definitive end of Air France Airbus A380 operations».

Replacement with Airbus A350 and Boeing 787

The airline had actually planned to decommission its nine remaining superjumbos by the end of 2022. Five of its Airbus A380s are owned by the airline, four are leased. In a first step, however, the company will incur costs as a result of the cost-cutting measure. Because of the premature flooding, Air France-KLM will have to write off 500 million euros.

The Airbus A380s will be replaced by A350s and Boeing 787s, and Air France-KLM will continue to take delivery of the new long-haul aircraft.

First flight eleven years ago

The first flight with an Airbus A380 was performed by Air France on 23 November 2009. It took passengers from Paris-Charles de Gaulle to New York. The airline has already decommissioned three of the giant aircraft earlier.

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