Air France plans on returning 5 A380s

Air France plans on reducing the A380 in their fleet by half to 5 after auditing their routes and finding that the A380 is too expensive to operate. Air France continues to plan on the 777-300ER to be the back bone of their long haul fleet

Personal Take- Another big hit to the A380 program with once again the A380 beinh found too expensive to operate. Good news for Boeing as it would seem that their 777X would be the prime candidate for the 777-3000ER replacement for Air France somewhere down the road.

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Sad to see more A380s go. The behemoth is too expensive… would have failed if it weren’t for Emirates.
Too bad, the AF A380 looked really nice too.

For Boeing, this could eventually be good because like you said, the 777X will be a prime candidate for replacement.

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I’m not surprised. Airlines are opting for more fuel efficient aircraft in a world where fuel prices are expected to rise in the coming years. The A350,787, and 777 families will eventually dominate the long haul market as the A380 slowly sinks out of existence. It was simply after it’s time.


I think they are considering it. Since they already have a large 777 fleet and 787 fleet where the 777x is a hybrid of the 2

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Well Airbus made a more appealing aircraft, the A350 which (to some airlines) is better than the A380…

Well there’s a new A380 coming so they probaly will put a order in for them

Yeah the super jumbo is to expensive. That’s why im a 747-8 guy

The A380 in general isn’t economical for them. Highly doubt they would order it again with very slight performance increases…

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747-8 is going away also. The jumbos are losing and their only porfitability now is in the cargo market. Maybe Airbus can save the A380 by converting it into a freighter, but it doesn’t look good. It seems that companies are moving to widebodies such as the 777 and A350.

A380 is an inefficient whale, 787 is where it’s at. Point to point is the future, not hubs like Airbus thinks. In my opinion, the A380 is a commercial failure.

That probably will not happen. Cargo Airlines like Fedex and UPS have looked at the Hypothetical A380-F, but honestly it would just be too big to utilise, and not only that, it would also make it unprofitable. I have copied a couple of paragraphs from an article, found linked here, so if you wish to read it, you can. But anyway, the above linked article states

“The hypothetical freighter equivalent of the A380 would get too heavy as it approaches its volume limit.

An A380-F would be too fat to fly at a profit: The plane would hit the maximum payload before its maximum cubic space. Its design can’t support the maximum payload required to generate a profit.

Consider a comparison with the Boeing 747-400F, a popular air freighter. The 747 has a maximum take-off weight of 448,000 kilograms to the A380’s 575,000. In addition, the 747 has a cargo capacity of 710 meters cubed to the hypothetical A380-F’s 1134 metres cubed. The A380-F would be able to carry 60% more volume than the 747, but only 28% more weight. It wouldn’t be fully loaded at typical levels of air cargo density, or at least nothing close to what can be supported by the thrust capacity of the 747.

The A380 is much better adapted as a passenger plane than as a cargo plane.”

That doesn’t mean there probably won’t be some type of converted freighter, but the above mentioned article probably means that “The Whale” will not be sustainable as a converted cargo aircraft.

The A380 was a project that was introduced almost 20-30 years after the prime time of air travel, when people were flying more than ever - but with rising fuel and oil prices, plus being out of date - Airbus already killed the A380 when it was already a concept. Although the plane has many impressive records, it’s legacy - well it probably won’t have one, apart from being a “Flying Whale”. The 747 however, will always be a technological marvel - and although the 747-8 is probably the last variant of the plane, it’s had a good history from good to bad.

@Lucas_Brien pretty much summed up the differences between the flying models between Airbus and Boeing.

Airbus believes in the “Hub to Hub” model of flying, in this case imagine flying from a place like Cairns to Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne to fly to Singapore on an A380. You’re flying away from your destination, however, Boeing’s 737-8 MAX being so efficient and range conscious, an airline will profit better connecting a direct flight between those cities, since Boeing believes in the “Point to Point” model. Just imagine placing a large airliner on that route if it isn’t big enough even to fill an A330. Since the 737-MAX is utilising that route, I think it is going so well, I think they have 2 flights per day. No matter who tells you what, smaller is always better.

All we can say now is that Twin-Jet Jumbos like the 777-X and A350’s are all the rage in profitability and style for airlines. I’d definitely fly a 777 over an A380 any day.

Sorry to say, but the best place for an A380 now days would be to the scrap yards!

Sorry for being so off topic. Just realised one small phrase can turn into a whole Novel. Lol.


All good points above, but France being quite a chauvinistic country, throwing out an aircraft made in France…gosh…

What’s next, the MonaLisa exposition in the Art Institute of Chicago?


@Daniel14 It would indeed be a great opportunity for Boeing but Air France might be considering it, and they might not. My point of view is the following, they might not get themselves the 777X as they still are waiting for 20 Boeing 787s to be delivered and they have also placed the order of 21 Airbus A350s. With the fuel price going up, I do not think they will make the purchase, unless they take some of their 777s in and replace them by the 777Xs.


I genuinely wonder what the load factors looked like on the Air France A380s. I know that Air France has an extensive network through CDG, but that does not necessarily mean they are adequately filling these planes. The fact of the matter is that the expenses associated with operating these larger aircraft are totally unsustainable with low-cost carriers putting price pressure on legacy carriers.

The A350’s are going to Joon

THe current 777-300ERs are providing the most return as discovered by the audit, hence why it is the backbone of AF’s long haul network. The A380 had too much capacity and too much fuel consumption to be profitable enough. The A350s on order are at maximum seating capacity which means not much room if they have undercapacity of those routes as the B77Ws are filling the larger routes by the A380 with the 468pax config and the 381 pax is the other heavier routes. The 298 pax version on the 77W also provide more business class seating than the A350 version. This is why Air France is considering the 777X as stated in the article. It fills the need for AF more so than any other aircraft in terms of capacity. When it is time to replace those 77Ws they are gong to need an aircraft that has the same capacity and downsizing would not be an option if those routes continue to be filled as they presently are.

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The end is nigh for the A380.

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Wonder what Airbus take on this, be curious see their call on this

Many airlines have problems with the A380, this is mainly due to the fact they bought the aircraft without need for it. Airlines such as BA, Emirates etc have utilised the aircraft in an effective manner and I doubt they have many flights where the planes aren’t full. Other airlines aren’t the same though and that’s ultimately why the A380 hasn’t been profitable for them. Plus the A380 product with Air France isn’t exactly great it’s extremely outdated unlike the B777 aircraft