Air France grounded its A380’s on 16 March as the Corona-virus pandemic began to take a toll on operations, before ultimately suspending the majority of its scheduled passenger flights.
Air France-KLM has today announced the “definitive end” of the French carrier’s Airbus A380 operations immediately rather than in 2022 as previously scheduled.
The phase-out of Airbus A380 fleet fits in the Air France-KLM group fleet simplification strategy of making the fleet more competitive, by continuing its transformation with more modern, high-performance aircraft with a significantly reduced environmental footprint.
Prior to the pandemic, the airline had already begun withdrawing the first of its A380’s as part of the planned phase-out over the next three years. The first aircraft entered storage at Ireland West airport near Knock on 20 February under the care of Eirtrade Aviation.
Five of the Airbus A380 aircraft in the current fleet are owned by Air France or on finance lease. A further four are on operating lease. Air France-KLM says the impact of the A380 phase-out write-down is estimated at €500 million and will be booked in the second quarter of 2020. The fleet is powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines.
Flight Global.com / ABC Flash Point Aviation News 2020.