Air France announced on Wednesday that it is retiring its Airbus A380 fleet due to the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on anticipated activity levels at the airline. The company operates nine A380s, five of which are owned by Air France or on finance lease and four of which are on operating lease. Prior to the pandemic, the company was intending to retire its A380s by the end of 2022.
“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,” the company said in a statement. “The global impact of the Airbus A380 phase-out write down is estimated at 500 million euros and will be booked in the second quarter of 2020 as a non-current cost/expenses.”
Air France says it intends to replace the A380s with “new generation aircraft” including the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787. According to the airline, deliveries of those aircraft are ongoing.