Air France Retires Their Entire A380 Fleet

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Air France has announced that that are permanently retiring their remaining fleet of A380 aircraft, effective immediately.

In an era of empty flights, Air France didn’t see the Toulouse, France built jumbo jet ever making a profitable return.

The A380 will go down as one of Airbus’ greatest failures. The plane with grand hopes of connecting the world was too big to succeed.

Just last January I was in Toulouse and Airbus executives I spoke with there expressed optimism that they would land a deal with Emirates to keep the A380 in production for years to come, until the world was ready for jumbos again.

But a month later the deal would fall apart and Airbus announced they would stop producing the plane after finishing their current order book. I wrote my goodbyes and thanks for the memories here.

 

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Emirates blamed Air France, British Airways, and Lufthansa for the A380’s failure, but that’s hardly the full story as I wrote in this roundup last year.

The A380 couldn’t find its place anywhere besides Dubai in a world before coronavirus, and it certainly won’t find it afterward.

What are your favorite A380 memories?

HT: chff

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27 Comments On "Air France Retires Their Entire A380 Fleet"

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Nic

Bummer – I’ve yet to fly on one (from any airline)

YoniPDX

I imagine that Qantas likely will keep the 380 for flights to US and Emirates may still fly the A380-haj pilgram planes that seat 615 in two classes (58 seats in J).

But this JMHO, It all comes down to filled seats.

As a mild AV geek – I have my pics seated on the massive A380 flight deck with DW makes me think of MS Flight SIM from the 80s with a Joystick instead of a yoke. Also 10 monitors/flat screens trump the Tesla’s single (lol). It only sounds crazy that we had self-flying planes ahead of cars (but not if you think about it).

Flown F TP/TA upper and lower decks on 747/A380, kicking myself for not flying on Concorde when I had the chance, ticking that box on my bucket list. I do love how smooth the A380 is on take off and landing, turbulence also seems to be milder.

Vlad

Will not miss the angle flat biz class

Daniel

LOL Seriously!!!! My mom had back pain for days after that!!! She would’ve preferred economy!!!!

Danny

“…it certainly won’t find it afterward.”

Who knows? Perhaps in the age of distancing airlines will get bigger planes so they can spread more people out. For a surcharge, of course.

YM

Nu, how much are they auctioning off pieces for?

Btw, they could be repurposed as some really cool stuff – a restaurant, library, maybe even amusement ride? (As long as they disable the throttles.. Or maybe not 😉

Yandmk

4 engine passenger aircraft will soon be something of the past… (Maybe very soon)

YoniPDX

The new twin 777X engine fan is 134″ in diameter. The internal cabin diameter (fuselage) of a 737 is approx 139″ in diameter.

The engine is a monster – but is supposed to be fuel efficient. So it’s kinda of looks like a section of 737 fuselage strapped to each wing.

Yisroel

Seems like from an engineering perspective, larger jet engines are more efficient.

Mia Flyer

the A220 , A321LR Wil be your Next starts. Watch Cross country 220 flights and international 321Lr … get used to a new era in travel

Abey

Seems like aircraft producers need more economists on payroll… 747 is on decline for years: Airbus exec, let’s build an even bigger airplane with higher cost… what could go wrong ??
However much I loved this bird it was never gonna be successful, point to point low cost planes was on the rise for years (except for money draining ME airlines) they just ignored it

Love to travel

Will miss them. Have flown First on the A380 with Korean, Ethiad and Emirates. Korean was blah, Ethiad was luxury and Emirates was a party in the sky.

Harrieshe_Hocker

This past winter break, I was coming back from my graduation trip to Israel and Poland, and we were flying in an A380 from Heathrow to Dulles, and as we were descending – literally 5 seconds before we were gonna touch the ground – there was a massive bang, and the whole plane felt like it had just bumped into like a bar in the middle of the air. Turns out that one of the doors for the landing gear, malfunction, and when it opened, something went loose, and it flipped up and wacked the belly of the plane!! But that was a pretty crazy A380 experience…

Harrieshe_Hocker

British Airways

ari

I had a flight booked on one from CDG to JFK after sukkos. Was looking forward to flying on it for the first time.
Oh well

YM

Being Australian, I’ve lost track of the amount of times I flew a380. Emirates, etihad, Qantas..
The prayer room on the etihad plane was incredible. I’ve never been able to daven a full shacharis on a plane undisturbed like that.
For those that don’t know, it’s the alcove by one of the rear doors with a curtain for privacy. About 3ft by 3ft. FAs asked if I would need a map. I politely declined.

Emes

I was trying to figure out why you would need a map to daven, as if you were going to keep turning as the plane moved to keep facing Jerusalem…or Mecca להבדיל.

Then I realized they probably offered you a maT.

YM

Correct, a maT. Although now that you mention it, there was a screen that showed which direction the mecca was in

JohnB

Emirates will buy the used ones in a few years.

Bob

So I looked in this story for a number. How many A380’s does Air France have? Couldn’t find it, so checked the link. Nothing there either. Google helped me find that we are talking about ten aircraft, and it would cost $45 million each to “refresh” them to match 2020 amenities. I wonder how much of this retirement is the fault of the airplane, and how much is the fault of the once-known-for-service airline.

Mountain Man

It’s a shame they won’t at least be converted into some sort of cargo plane. It’s way too expensive a plane to retire so young.

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