On Saturday morning, Air France retired their first a380. The 10.5 year old Airbus a380-861, F-HPJB, flew its last flight from Paris(CDG) to Malta(MLA) after a short turnaround from Johannesburg(JNB).
Air France is only the second airline to retire their A380 (Singapore was the first), and they plan to retire all 10 of their A380s by 2022. With the delivery of Air France's new aircraft(such as the 787 and 777) and the implementation of their new business class seats, it would be hard to keep their product up to date on the a380. It costs roughly 48 million USD per aircraft to refresh, a large cost considering the fact that the retirement of the A380 is just two years away.
Air France has also been experiencing many delays on their A380 flights, making the plane seem less reliable. Even their retirement flight to Malta was delayed by 15 minutes.
Although the a380 has been retired, it won't necessarily be scrapped. A380s can be reused by other airlines, similar to what happened with Singapore Airlines and the Hi-Fly A380. Sources also indicate that the plane is preparing to be painted, suggesting its potential reuse by another airline.
If you're sad about not getting to fly on the a380 again, don't worry. Emirates is still taking orders of their a380s(until Airbus stops production in 2021) and they plan to fly them for quite some time. They also own almost 150 a380s, so retiring them will take some time.
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