Home Airlines Air France to cut A380 fleet by at least two aircraft

Air France to cut A380 fleet by at least two aircraft

Air France Airbus A380

Air France plans to reduce its 10-strong Airbus A380 fleet by returning at least two—and potentially all—of the five leased A380s the carrier operates.

The move, first reported Nov. 23 by French newspaper Les Echos, was confirmed to Aviation Daily by a source.

Initially, at least two of the airline’s leased A380s are set to be returned beginning late 2019, when the leasing contracts expire, Les Echos reported, adding that as many as five may go back in the longer term.

In deciding to reduce the A380 fleet, but not eliminate the type entirely, Air France-KLM’s new CEO Benjamin Smith was confirming a decision made by previous CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac, the newspaper said.

“Discussions and studies concerning the size of Air France’s A380 fleet are ongoing,” an Air France spokesman said.

The airline’s 10 A380s, five of which are leased, serve Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Johannesburg, South Africa; Shanghai; Los Angeles and New York in the US.

The move is the latest blow to the A380 program, which is struggling with weak demand.

Airbus is reducing A380 output from 2020, although an Emirates Airline follow-up order earlier this year did ensure that production of the long-haul aircraft could continue.

In 2016 Air France swapped two A380s it had on firm order for three A350-900s.

The airline plans to revamp its remaining A380 cabins, with work scheduled to begin in October 2020, the source confirmed.



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