More and more airlines are phasing out their Airbus A380s. Emirates President Tim Clark says Air France, British Airways and Lufthansa have got it all wrong with the double-decker.
They can be seen for three more years. Then Air France says goodbye to the last of its ten Airbus A380s. The superjumbos will be replaced either by Airbus A350s or Boeing 787s. The decision as to which model the French national airline will choose as replacement will be made soon.
A new leadership was needed before Air France could break up with the A380. Benjamin Smith as CEO of Air France-KLM and Anne Rigail as CEO of Air France – both only in office since the end of 2018 – quickly made it clear that they did not like the double-decker. The French manager recently made it very clear that the plane was too big and too expensive. She also said that there were many problems with it, not only with the engines.
«Business Class seat of 1990s»
Tim Clark agrees. «The A380 was a misfit for Air France», the President of Emirates said to Airlineratings. «If you’ve got a sub fleet of 10 it’s a bloody nightmare and the costs go through the roof», the manager said. If you own a hundred, the unit costs are much lower and it pays off. Without the A380, Emirates would never be where it is today, says Clark. The plane helped to grow faster.
Emirates’s president sees another mistake at Air France. The French didn’t take the opportunity to make the A380 something special. You can’t put «Business Class seat of 1990s-think and a First Class of 1980s-think and Economy Class seating and IFE of 1990s» in such an expensive aircraft. Air France had simply turned the aircraft into another one instead of an extraordinary one.
British Airways has too few A380s, Clark believes
Emirates, on the other hand, has relied on extras such as showers, a bar or huge TV screens. «Air France and Lufthansa was just more of the same.,» says Clark. He also criticizes British Airways. The airline had too few A380s, and it actually needed a hundred, according to the manager. Great Britain has 62 million inhabitants and London Heathrow Airport is chronically congested. «That would have worked for them,» Clark said to Airlineratings.